More SSPX talk

More SSPX talk

No news on the meeting of SSPX leadership in France yesterday. As I said, such rumors are to be accepted with a grain of salt. Something may or may not have happened there. We won’t know until an official announcement is made, if any. Keep in mind that if reconciliation with the Vatican was discussed, it was likely the beginning of a process, not the end. Considering the sharp divisions, the discussions would probably be lengthy and heated.

Speaking of rumors, according to Catholic World News an Italian newspaper is reporting that the Pope and the Curia will hold a meeting on February 13 to discuss the topic of reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, aka Lefebvrists.

Now, according to Il Giornale, the Pope wants to discuss the possibility of rescinding those excommunications. That move could eliminate a source of tensions in the continuing talks between the Vatican and the SSPX, aimed to restoring the traditionalst group to full unity with the Holy See. Pope Benedict will also discuss his own inclination to allow broader use of the pre-conciliar Roman Missal, Il Giornale reports.

It also said the Pope may offer a universal Indult for the Tridentine Mass.

Sources independent of Il Giornale are also reporting that the meeting will discuss the SSPX.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
35 comments
  • “It also said the Pope may offer a universal Indult for the Tridentine Mass.”

    The first time I heard words to that effect was in 1988. We might see it tomorrow; but tomorrow is nearly eighteen years in coming.

    What I never hear is how a “universal indult” would actually happen. Does a priest just show up one day and say, hey, kids, I wanna do the Old Mass this week, and everybody from the choir director to the altar servers’ trainer is scrambling around at the last minute? I saw it happen at a convention once, which is probably why I find that easy to imagine.

    You don’t need the so-called “Novus Ordo” for it to be all about the celebrant.

  • I agree, Michigan. The difference is, one’s in your face, the other is when he thinks no one’s looking. The point is, chaos got us into this mess, and chaos will not get us out.

  • Being able to attend a proper reverent mass is not chaos.  Getting rid of: 
    *** the laypeople prancing around the altar is not chaos.  *** the brain-rebooting cacaphony we’ve had to put up with from the “music ministry” (which is neither music nor ministry) is not chaos. 
    Shutting down the “personalities” which seek to replace God when they entertain and attract attention to themselves in Mass is not chaos.
    Learning a little Latin and remembering our heritage is not chaos.

    Indeed, these things will spell the beginning of a return to stability and foster devotion in the Catholic people.

  • It is obvious we have no argument about any of that, Michigan. Alas, if I didn’t know better, I would think you want an argument, since you are astute enough to know that I drew the proper distinctions.

    But just in case…

    I’m referring to doing the right thing the wrong way. The sacred liturgy (and I don’t care if it’s Old Mass or New Mass or Eastern rite or Western) is never the work of just a priest. It is a work of the whole Church. That is one aspect of the “Novus Ordo” mentality, I fear, that has crept into the mind-set of those who love the traditional liturgy. (There are other behaviors too, some more sinister, but I’ll save those for the weblog, and please do not accuse me of saying the priest and the people are the same, since you also know I’m not saying that either.)

    The bishop is the chief liturgist of his diocese. No papal decree is going to change that, any more than a pope can deny that one of his bishops is a successor to the apostles. A “universal indult” is an oxymoron, inasmuch as an indulgence allowed universally is no longer an indulgence, but normative. People don’t think of these things, as if the chaos can be eliminated overnight by using a different set of books.

    Which would be impossible, if the chaos is half as bad as you suggest. (By the way, we already both agree that it’s that bad.)

  • I assume that a universal Indult would provide for the following:

    1) All priests may say the Tridentine rite privately at will,

    and

    2) Public and regular Tridentine Masses at parishes would have to be approved by the pastor.

    I don’t see the problem.

  • Trying to get everyone doing the same thing isn’t necessarily a reduction in chaos, if what they’re being asked to do is chaotic by definition, David.

    Really want to get rid of chaos? 

    Replace the normal suburban Mass, which is a spectacle, with a reverent Mass, where neither the celebrant nor the helpers of various kinds draw attention to themselves to the deficit of the worship of God. 

    Replace the horribly distracting, noisy and raucous “music” with simple easily learned chants in latin.  It’s harder to be cutesy-pie heterodox in latin. 

    Return some devotions before & after Mass so people will once again pray in familiar ways together.  It confirms Catholic identity and builds genuine community. It defuses the corrosive effects of things in the culture that erode their Catholicity.

    Get rid of people who are so PROUD of being “ministers of this and that” that they elbow each other in public.  Teach these slow learners what Christ said about being “sons of thunder.”  These people do the church much harm when they insist on playing “king on the mountain.”  It’s silly and extremely offensive.  I don’t care if they do want to work for the church and be a big shot or whatever.  It’s not appropriate.

  • Okay, Mr Giunta, that was probably a bit from-the-hip, and I apologize. I’ll elaborate.

    I just explained how the term “universal indult” was a contradiction. So having said that, we come to how the liturgy is the work, not only of the priest, but of the whole Church. Wait, I said that before too. Yes, a pastor is responsible for what happens in his parish. By the same token, a bishop is responsible for what happens in his diocese. Now, if I were a priest (or about to be one someday), and wanted something, and got it, well no, I wouldn’t see a problem either. Until I realized it’s not just about me.

    Wait, I said that already too. I gotta sleep on some of this…

  • Hey, Michigan, it’s getting late. You’re going to have to find something we actually disagree on. All this preaching to the choir is making me tired. By the way, a “missa solemnis” always benefitted from a host of “helpers”—deacon, subdeacon, master of ceremonies, thurifer, crucifer, two acolytes, six torchbearers. The difference, as I’m sure you could appreciate, is that they know their place. They are not a distraction; on the contrary, they reinforce the hierarchical nature of the liturgy. The people you describe (and I must concede they are not as common in my diocese) are not integral to the Church’s action, and their distractive nature betrays that.

  • Mr. Alexander:

    As it is, several decisions are left to the discretion of the priest and/or pastor: whether to employ altar girls, whether to have extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, the music to be used at liturgy, church architecture, et al.

    Short of a foluu-fledged return to the Missal of 1962, I know of no other way to “reform the reform” than to allow a “Universal Indult” for the time being, until the Missa Normativa is fine-tuned in such a manner at to be a truly organic development from what we Catholics had back in 1962.

  • Mr Giunta:

    I quite agree to a need to “reform the reform,” and that the 1962 Missal should be more generously allowed. But trading one sat of liturgical books for another is a far cry from deciding whether Suzy or Billy gets to serve at the altar. (My vote’s with Billy.)

    Besides, a “universal indult,” in addition to that oxymoron thing I was talking about, WOULD be a “full-fledged return.” Once people get that, would they even CARE what happens to the reform?

    Would you?

  • I take your points, yes.  I’m not looking for an argument; I’m distressed about the situation in the Church and I have been for a long time.  And yes, it’s very bad, very scary.  I know more ex-Catholics than Catholics by at least a margin of 10 to 1.

    I think the point that’s often missed is that although the Mass is the work of the whole church, as you say, there are many forms of Mass which legitimately embody that work.  Historically, they have thrived simultaneously and there is no reason we must strive to suppress everything but the lowest common denominator, which is absolutely what has happened.  This effect will continue as long as there are those who try to enforce strict unity of behaviors in the church, such as by introducing legislation on the exact timing of kneeling after Holy Communion and so on.  This is NOT the point of liturgy.

    Unity in the Catholic church isn’t kindergarten get-in-line mimicry.  Rather it is the unity of truth and the unity given by Christ to Peter to shepherd.

    Consequently, I don’t believe that there is a problem with the introduction of Latin where it can be done.  I don’t have a problem with parallel forms of Mass if they are sanctioned by the Holy See, which I have to presume knows what it is doing.  I don’t believe Mass is either/or.  Both are, remember, valid and licit.

    I also don’t believe that the introduction of Latin, even Tridentine Latin, will usher in chaos.  Even if the difference between parishes becomes notable, even troublesome, it won’t have been the Mass itself that is the culprit.  Rather, there are some deep and divisive factors in the Church—they are the underlying problem and they may erupt, focusing on anything, not only the Mass.  It may only be a matter of time, anyway.

    I do believe that the only way out of the mess we are in is a combination of prayer and some rather old-fashioned Catholic folk behavior.  A good start would be voluntary devotions before and after Mass, to encourage Catholic identity and genuine community.  We need to recover the sacred and in doing so recover the relationships between ourselves and the Lord, and each other as members of the Body of Christ.

  • I take your points, yes.  I’m not looking for an argument; I’m distressed about the situation in the Church and I have been for a long time.  And yes, it’s very bad, very scary.  I know more ex-Catholics than Catholics by at least a margin of 10 to 1.

    I think the point that’s often missed is that although the Mass is the work of the whole church, as you say, there are many forms of Mass which legitimately embody that work.  Historically, they have thrived simultaneously and there is no reason we must strive to suppress everything but the lowest common denominator, which is absolutely what has happened.  This effect will continue as long as there are those who try to enforce strict unity of behaviors in the church, such as by introducing legislation on the exact timing of kneeling after Holy Communion and so on.  This is NOT the point of liturgy.

    Unity in the Catholic church isn’t kindergarten get-in-line mimicry.  Rather it is the unity of truth and the unity given by Christ to Peter to shepherd.

    Consequently, I don’t believe that there is a problem with the introduction of Latin where it can be done.  I don’t have a problem with parallel forms of Mass if they are sanctioned by the Holy See, which I have to presume knows what it is doing.  I don’t believe Mass is either/or.  Both are, remember, valid and licit.

    I also don’t believe that the introduction of Latin, even Tridentine Latin, will usher in chaos.  Even if the difference between parishes becomes notable, even troublesome, it won’t have been the Mass itself that is the culprit.  Rather, there are some deep and divisive factors in the Church—they are the underlying problem and they may erupt, focusing on anything, not only the Mass.  It may only be a matter of time, anyway.

    I do believe that the only way out of the mess we are in is a combination of prayer and some rather old-fashioned Catholic folk behavior.  A good start would be voluntary devotions before and after Mass, to encourage Catholic identity and genuine community.  We need to recover the sacred and in doing so recover the relationships between ourselves and the Lord, and each other as members of the Body of Christ.

  • I take your points, yes.  I’m not looking for an argument; I’m distressed about the situation in the Church and I have been for a long time.  And yes, it’s very bad, very scary.  I know more ex-Catholics than Catholics by at least a margin of 10 to 1.

    I think the point that’s often missed is that although the Mass is the work of the whole church, as you say, there are many forms of Mass which legitimately embody that work.  Historically, they have thrived simultaneously and there is no reason we must strive to suppress everything but the lowest common denominator, which is absolutely what has happened.  This effect will continue as long as there are those who try to enforce strict unity of behaviors in the church, such as by introducing legislation on the exact timing of kneeling after Holy Communion and so on.  This is NOT the point of liturgy.

    Unity in the Catholic church isn’t kindergarten get-in-line mimicry.  Rather it is the unity of truth and the unity given by Christ to Peter to shepherd.

    Consequently, I don’t believe that there is a problem with the introduction of Latin where it can be done.  I don’t have a problem with parallel forms of Mass if they are sanctioned by the Holy See, which I have to presume knows what it is doing.  I don’t believe Mass is either/or.  Both are, remember, valid and licit.

    I also don’t believe that the introduction of Latin, even Tridentine Latin, will usher in chaos.  Even if the difference between parishes becomes notable, even troublesome, it won’t have been the Mass itself that is the culprit.  Rather, there are some deep and divisive factors in the Church—they are the underlying problem and they may erupt, focusing on anything, not only the Mass.  It may only be a matter of time, anyway.

    I do believe that the only way out of the mess we are in is a combination of prayer and some rather old-fashioned Catholic folk behavior.  A good start would be voluntary devotions before and after Mass, to encourage Catholic identity and genuine community.  We need to recover the sacred and in doing so recover the relationships between ourselves and the Lord, and each other as members of the Body of Christ.

  • “Besides, a ‘universal indult,’ in addition to that oxymoron thing I was talking about, WOULD be a ‘full-fledged return.’”

    Would it? This statement seems to presuppose that there is such a wide demand for the Old Rite that, with its reintroduction, the current “Missa Normativa” will die a natural death. One can only hope . . .

    wink

    Seriously though . . .

    “Once people get that, would they even CARE what happens to the reform? Would you?”

    If the Missa Normativa were to be reformed in such a way that it becomes an organic developed form of what came before it (i.e. the 1962 Missal), there would no longer be a need for the “traditional” movement, and thus no need to hang on to the ‘62 Missal.

    What we need is not simply a Mass that is unabusive; we need a reformed liturgy that, when celebrated according to its rubrics, still preserves the same sense of awe, mystery, reverence, the sheer sense of the sacred, that the so-called Tridentine rite (normally) does.

    As it now stands, even when the GIRM is followed to a “T,” the Mass is tacky as heck. To create any sense of awe and mystery and sacredness, one has to go above and beyond the current GIRM (without contradicting it). As an example, I would point out the ultra-Tridentinized Missa Normativas celebrated by Chicago’s Society of Saint John Cantius.

    What we really need, in my humble opinion, is a GIRM that *mandates* Mass faced ad orientam (perhaps giving parishes a time-table in which to reinstitute this), *mandates* Latin for at least some of the Mass (preferrably all the ordinaries), *mandates* that certain parts be sung at a “Missa Cantata” (like in the ‘62 Missal; unlike what you have now, where the average Sunday and holy day liturgy is basically a Low Mass with tacky hymns), and *mandates* that certain instruments not be allowed in the sacred liturgy in certain countries (e.g. no pianos or guitars allowed in Masses celebrated in the U.S., where said instruments are clearly secular in nature, in all but the most exceptional of circumstances).

    This is not to say that the above would admit of no exception; but here it would perhaps be wise to set up special comissions which would hand out indults on a case-by-case basis, where real pastoral need necessitates it (unlike currently, where “pastoral need” means “whatever the pastor feels like doing”).

    Anything less than the above would not bring about the needed reforms (again, in my opinion). Human nature being what it is, anytime you make something “optional” it invariably falls by the wayside.

    Additionally, of course, the above would have to be enforced by real disciplinary measures.

    Lacking this reform of the reform, I don’t see what options the average Catholic has except to have recourse to a Tridentine Mass. And this is why a universal Indult is needed, at least for the time being.

  • “If the Missa Normativa were to be reformed in such a way that it becomes an organic developed form of what came before it (i.e. the 1962 Missal), there would no longer be a need for the ‘traditional’ movement, and thus no need to hang on to the ‘62 Missal.”

    That’s not the impression I get from a lot of traditionalists; there is little sentiment for a middle ground.

    And there is also very little concern for “the future of reform” once they have their own parish with their own Mass; they’d just let “that Novus Ordo church” go their own way.

    I tend to agree that the instructions for the reformed liturgy leave too much to the imagination. Part of that is due to the relative lack of maturity to this stage of reform. Then there is the distinction between “rubrics” (the written instructions of what is said) and the “ceremonials” (instructions of what is done, especially by lower functionaries). Traditionally, we had a Fortescue to tell us the details (or, as you would call it, to “go above and beyond the GIRM”). But there has been a gap in the wake of official reform, leaving people somewhat on their own. Books by people like Msgr Elliot attempt to address this. So does the Society in Chicago, whose initiatives are simply appropriating tradition that is proper to the Roman Rite, as opposed to this “ultra-Tridentinized” thing to which you refer.

    Because even the old rubrics didn’t cover everything. Nor will a “universal indult.”

    (By the way, maybe it’s just the part of the country I live in, namely the Arlington Diocese. But can it be possible that most American Catholics are stuck with choosing between a Trid Mass or a Clown Mass?)

  • Bishops Bruskewitz and Corrada expect 1962 missal to play important future role – Brian Mershon,
    February 1, 2006

    http://www.renewamerica.us/columns/mershon/060201

    Bruskewitz: “I haven’t given ‘blanket permission’ for the celebration for the Tridentine Mass in the diocese, it is, however, a permission that I give very readily… first of all, the priest has to assure me he knows the rubrics and knows how to celebrate the Mass in the Tridentine rite. And secondly, that he has some familiarity with the Latin language that would be adequate for celebrating in the Tridentine rite. And third, that there would be some pastoral need for it, either the people calling for it, or the priest’s own personal devotion would be in that direction.”

    This oversight would be completely circumvented in the event of a “universal indult.” And before you ask, yes, I read the whole interview.

    (Link courtesy of Shawn Tribe.)

  • This oversight would be completely circumvented in the event of a “universal indult.”

    Not necessarily. A bishop always has the responsibility of ensuring the Mass is celebrated properly and that priests are well-prepared to do so, whatever rite he is celebrating. If, under a universal indult, a priest was not celebrating the rubrics, didn’t know Latin, etc., a bishop could still demand obedience.

    The reality is that bishops have been lax on this score even with the Novus Ordo, so under a universal indult, only conscientous bishops like Bruskewitz would bother.

  • “Not necessarily. A bishop always has the responsibility of ensuring the Mass is celebrated properly and that priests are well-prepared to do so, whatever rite he is celebrating…”

    I find myself in the rare cimcumstance of disagreeing with you, Dom.

    To hear a “universal indult” described by most, a priest would not have to answer to his bishop as to which set of books he uses, any more than he needs permission to use the reformed missal in Latin at present. I have already heard similar boasts from priests with personal celebrets from the Holy See, who insist that a Mass at a public convention is “private use,” and they don’t have to answer to the local bishop. Do you think that less likely under what you suggest?

    Of course, whether you are right would depend on the provisions of the decree in question. Your scenario would already be possible with the current legislation, as is evident in the interview. So why bother with additional rulings that are so open-ended, when you can more easily enforce what is already there?

    Bottom line, it’s still at the discretion of the local bishop.

  • “I have already heard similar boasts from priests with personal celebrets from the Holy See, who insist that a Mass at a public convention is ‘private use,’ and they don’t have to answer to the local bishop.”

    By the way, this claim was already refuted by the Holy See back in the 1990s, as published in an annual journal by the CLSA.

  • You missed my point. A universal indult would allow a priest to celebrate either the Novus Ordo or the Tridentine, but a bishop still has the authority to tell a priest he’s not celebrating the rite, either rite, correctly. A priest’s faculties to celebrate Mass at all comes from the bishop and if the bishop determines the priest is not fit to celebrate Mass, he can suspend his faculties.

    Under a universal indult, he can’t tell him which rite he can celebrate—no more than he could tell him which Eucharistic Prayer to use—but he could forbid him from celebrating Mass at all until he gets his ducks in row. Like I said, most don’t do that now, so I wouldn’t expect them to do it after a universal indult either.

  • “A universal indult would allow a priest to celebrate either the Novus Ordo or the Tridentine, but a bishop still has the authority to tell a priest he’s not celebrating the rite, either rite, correctly.”

    Rest assured, I heard you the first time. What you describe is already provided for explicitly under the terms of the current 1988 indult, and implicitly in the bishop’s role as chief liturgist of his diocese. So the question remains (especially if a diocesan bishop can still ignore it), what is the “value-added” with an additional decree?

  • Dom et al:

    I have reached the point in this discussion (a fascinating one to be sure) when I must concede. This is not my forum, and—as my colleague Mr Bettinelli has rightfully pointed out in the past—it is not a democracy. I will leave with two posts from the occasional series on the state of the Roman Liturgy, on my own weblog. I wrote these last fall on this subject.

    Critical Mass: When is an indult not an indult?

    Critical Mass: Indult Revisited

    Thank you for your indulgence, Dom. You do a great job.

  • (By the way, maybe it’s just the part of the country I live in, namely the Arlington Diocese. But can it be possible that most American Catholics are stuck with choosing between a Trid Mass or a Clown Mass?)

    Actually, David, no.  The N.O. that I attend is reverent, predictable, and traditional in many ways.  My biggest complaint is that our parish recently acquired the “Gather” hymnal and the choir is using it.  Prior to this aquisition they sang from “Glory and Praise”, a much better choice.

    We sometimes have devotions following Mass, such as the blessing of throats which will take place this coming Sunday, and a May crowning that has taken place for several years now.  It’s amazing to me how many of the faithful stay after Mass for these.  With the throat blessing, Father usually gives a general one during the homily, yet despite having already received the general blessing, nearly all of us line up for the individual one.  The church remains full for the May crowning as well. 

    At one parish nearby a rosary is recited before Mass on Saturday evening.  In my parish the choir sings before Mass, but that still doesn’t silence all of the folks in the pew, unfortunately; and the older ladies are usually responsible for the talking.

    Regarding the discussion about the universal indult…

    Benedict’s Midnight Mass last Christmas is a good example of what I think would work.  It would keep what is good from Vatican II, such as the expanded lectionary, while still being reverent and transcendent.  It even included some inculturation that seemed integral to Mass rather than a spectacle.  If we’re going to capture the “Spirit of Vatican II,” that particular spirit is friendly to Tradition.

  • In my parish the choir sings before Mass, but that still doesn’t silence all of the folks in the pew, unfortunately; and the older ladies are usually responsible for the talking.

    You’ve got that right. At my parish, at a holy day Mass, it got so bad one older guy stood up and shushed them and told them they should have more respect.

    I’ve also noticed that of the people leaving right after Communion, it’s mainly older women there too.

  • In one sense I can sympathize with them.  Most likely a lot of them are widows, and a chance to talk to someone is hard to pass up.  It doesn’t, however, exempt them from the need to prepare for Mass, to talk to God, and to allow the rest of us to do the same.  I keep wishing there was a coffeeklatch (sp?) in the parish hall after Mass for them or something.

    Oh well, as the proverbial saying goes, we just have to “offer it up” I guess.

  • There are two whole generations of people (at least) that were raised in a minimalist model.  You are not going to stop many of these people from treating the church like a drive-up window.  Some of the most egregious examples are going to be, yes, older women and men.  In the 70s etc they were the ones hardest pummeled with all the dissenting “changes”  while maintaining the scruples about sin.  The whole thing was catalyzed by cultural reasons, ie. striving for modernity, birth control, self-esteem coming from the catholic world, which was thought to be inferior, etc.  They bought it hook, line & sinker.
    Like Carrie says, it might be best to charm them in—force won’t get change, it might get compliance.

    Back to the main topic……..
    At Campos, there is an apostolic administrator, who is a permanent part of the diocese, recognized by Rome.  They have been promised continuity by Rome directly.  The bishop must comply with that per Rome.

    The reason this is such a hot potato here in the states is that the NCCB has set itself up as a quasi-magisterium in competition with Rome.  Much like the Dutch situation.  It’s why we see the stasis we see re the Crisis, following Rome’s direction, the liturgical controversies, religious ed and so on. 

    This sort of settlement would really cool their heels and it would be controversial as heck.  The cure to a lot of things, of course, would be to make the rapproachment with the SSPX the case internationally, such that each diocese in the world would be beholden to Rome to insure continuity to the trads via a permanent apostolic administrator.  It gets more parties in the mix, makes them more beholden to Rome and it would be a thorn in Cdl Mahoney’s modernist britches.  =)  Heh.

    Do a little reading on the topic.  It’s very interesting.

  • The reason this is such a hot potato here in the states is that the NCCB has set itself up as a quasi-magisterium in competition with Rome.  Much like the Dutch situation.

    Given the state of the Church in Holland, we should be seeing a forest of red flags about now!

    If national bishops conferences are permitted to becomes an alternate magisterium, it is just possible that some form of heretical church will insinuate itself into the bosom of Roman Catholicism.  Might I further say that it is just possible that it already has in some places?

  • What would be the possibility for organic development of the liturgy under the Campos arrangement?

    I ask because I am old enough to remember the Tridentine from before the Council.  While I was certainly not in favor of the changes when they began, I can see some positive features of those changes.  Scripture in the vernacular and an expanded lectionary, are improvements.  Getting rid of the concept that the priest who could say Mass the fastest was the priest of choice, is another instance of improvement.  A greater role for the laity in the prayers said at Mass was an improvement, IMHO.  The Tridentine was moving in this direction with the dialogue Mass. Too many low masses is another instance of a difficulty that needed to be addressed.

    I would not like to go back to the Tridentine frozen in place, so that abuses could never be corrected, just as I would not like to give up these improvements in liturgy that have resulted from Vatican II.

  • Correct, Carrie.  I am old enough to remember too, although the parish I attended was staffed by a priest that the older priests in this diocese talk about in awed tones for his sheer holiness…so I didn’t see much wrong.  I was a little unbaptised kid in a neighborhood Catholic school, but I thought the Mass was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life.  I’m here, baptised and practicing, largely because of it.

    I think the possibility for organic development, recognized by Rome, would be very high if there were a universal indult.  Rome could then work to regularize the NO under some pressure in their favor.  I think it might serve as a regularization of the ecclesial situation too, to some extent.  Great for the “real” laity, but maybe not for the lay apparatchiks (hangers on, many lay ministry-types) who play the political games of driving wedges for their ideological preferences……

  • I was a little baptised kid in the neighborhood Catholic school when I learned to love the Mass. 

    The people pushing for the Tridentine today might have an ideological problem with any alteration in that rite once they had full access to it.  In a way I can see how they would take that position since they’ve been fighting for it for 40 years, but the 62 rite does leave some room for improvement, at the very least in expansion of the lectionary.

    While watching the papal Mass on Christmas Eve I closed my eyes and could see the altar of my parish church from the 1950s and hear the organist singing the Latin responses in her less-than-perfect voice.  It was the best Christmas present I got.  Yet despite the sense of continuity it gave me, I believe Benedict was saying the N.O. in Latin, wasn’t he?

    We have this going for us…we have a Pope who understands that God is reflected in beauty, and understands what represents beauty to Western Civ.  Since he is German, I also think we might be able to count on him understanding the use of symbols.  I’m hopeful something good will come out of that.

  • Agreed, and I think the reunion of the Church and the SSPX (those that come back) would soften the contrast.  I really think that something better is possible.  Even if that “better” is a new spirit of reverence and Latin usage in a cleaned up Novus Ordo.  Coupled with reform of corruption in the Church.

    The SSPX left because they feared and distrusted the events of the 1964-1989 period.  Anyone with a mind would have distrusted that period.  Most didn’t leave which was good.  That some left is not at all surprising.  The time was a farce and a period of dissolution for Catholicism.  Perhaps the reform we’re starting to see now will be a reassurance for us and them now. 

    As I’ve said before, one cannot paint everyone in the SSPX with one stroke.  They are not demons.

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