Confessions of a Traditional Catholic

 
"Hello. My name is Steve, and I’m a ‘traditional’ Catholic."
 
So begins my admission of membership in a disparate group that, as you’ve already read, is far too well known for its bitterness, anger, and lack of evangelical spirit. I don’t like being typecast in this way. Just because I have a profound love and respect for — and even a belief in the superiority of — older liturgical and sacramental forms does not mean that I am an unreasonable malcontent oozing acid from every pore. I am first and foremost a Catholic, and I detest even needing to wear a label to distinguish myself. Unfortunately, I must, for it is still an uncommon thing among Catholics to venerate many of the traditions that I hold dear.
 
I’ll be honest: There was a time when I was an "angry trad," when I lashed out at others as I clawed for a spiritual inheritance I felt was stolen from me. While this is probably a natural reaction, I now know it gained me nothing. There is no value in promoting the beauty of something when one’s conduct in so doing is itself repulsive.
 
So why, then, are traditional Catholics so angry?
 
In his homily on October 21, 2007, the first time his parish would celebrate Mass in the Extraordinary Form following the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum, Rev. Franklyn McAfee, pastor of St. John the Beloved in McClean, Virginia, offered an insight:
 
What flowed from the promised renewal of the Mass in the late 60s was something entirely new. The American Theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles has pointed out that the new rite of the Mass violated every norm for liturgical renewal prescribed by Vatican II. He said it was the only Mass in history that was put together by a committee. As a result . . . many people stopped going to Mass. Some even left the Church. My parents were shaken but they did not abandon the Church. But my older sister did. In the 50s, more than 80 percent of parishioners attended Mass in their parish church. Today it is far less than 30 percent.
 
It is not my purpose here to prove causality, but the fact that the change in the liturgy of the Roman Rite and the exodus of Catholics from the Church coincide is hard to dispute. People were hurt, immensely, by the drastic nature of the change. The liturgy on which they had been nourished their entire lives became something unrecognizable — a Mass as alien to them as my first experiences with the old form were to me. Some, like Sts. Padre Pio and JosemaríaEscrivá, asked and obtained permission from Rome to continue saying the older form of the Mass. And a group of intellectuals, artists, writers, and actors from England petitioned Rome not to change the Mass at all. Throughout the Catholic world, there was controversy and upheaval over the changing shape of the liturgy.
 
Alfredo Cardinal Ottaviani asked during the first session of the Second Vatican Council if the gathered fathers wanted to "stir up wonder, or perhaps scandal among the Christian people, by introducing changes in so venerable a rite, that has been approved by so many centuries and is now so familiar?" Following the Council, in his famous Intervention, the good cardinal, along with "a group of theologians, liturgists and pastors of souls," urged Pope Paul VI not to replace the venerable Mass of the Church with the new creation that was the Novus Ordo Missae. Their study showed
 
quite clearly in spite of its brevity that if we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent (emphasis added).
 
Despite all of the objections, exceptions, and petitions, Rome moved ahead with the new rite. The old liturgy was effectively suppressed, leaving innumerable Catholics shanghaied in a new Mass that adopted a different form, different postures, a different language, and a different theological focus than that to which they had been accustomed their entire lives. They felt alienated and forgotten.
 
 
When Pope John Paul II issued the apostolic letter Ecclesia Dei in 1988, in which he discussed the schismatic action of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, he also commented that
 
respect must everywhere be shown for the feelings of all those who are attached to the Latin liturgical tradition, by a wide and generous application of the directives already issued some time ago by the Apostolic See for the use of the Roman Missal according to the typical edition of 1962.
 
But it fell on deaf ears. At a conference I attended several years ago, a priest reported the response of one of the American bishops when contacted by a cardinal with whom John Paul II had entrusted the mission of spreading the indult allowing the old Mass: "I am the bishop of my diocese," the bishop said, "Not the Holy Father."
 
An anecdote from yet another priest concerned a bishop who locked the parishioners of a diocesan-approved traditional parish out of their church during the Easter Triduum, following an edict that no Good Friday services were to be allowed in Latin. The church was locked from Holy Thursday to Easter Sunday morning to enforce the edict.
 
If these are extraordinary examples, it has been a common experience for the average traditional Catholic to have to drive long distances to get to a Mass at an inconvenient time — often the only such Mass available in the diocese. Nothing was done to facilitate their devotion, while every other Catholic special interest group imaginable was happily accommodated.
 
This repression suffered for four decades by those attached to the older form has lead — it is true — to great bitterness. Not every traditional Catholic is afflicted with it, and among those who are there are many good and faithful people who want nothing more than to be fully a part of the life of the Church. Nevertheless, it would be false to deny that there is an angry, malignant, ugly streak running through the heart of traditionalism that threatens to rot the group to its core. It has grown necrotic in the years spent without sympathetic leadership, without cause for hope, living constantly with the knowledge that something was horribly awry in the life of the Church.
 
Then came Summorum Pontificum. In his introductory letter, Pope Benedict XVI said, "What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful." Further, in the text of the motu proprio itself, the Holy Father instructed that, "It is, therefore, permissible to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal promulgated by Bl. John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated . . ." (emphasis added).
 
Never abrogated. The traditionalists who spent decades arguing that the Mass could not be abrogated — that any priest had the right to say it, that it was as much a part of the Church as it had ever been — had finally been exonerated. The Mass that they loved so dearly and fought for so valiantly was finally free, in no small part because of their defense of its status as a Mass immemorial.
 
 
However justified it may be, traditional angst has always been counterproductive. If we desire to help build a better Church, one that honors its traditions and pays them the reverence they are due, we must conduct ourselves in a constructive fashion.
 
Do I believe that the older form of Mass is an objectively better expression of Catholic worship than the newer form? Absolutely — if I didn’t, this would be hardly worth the effort. But I want to argue that position on its merits, and not be dismissed because I’m perceived as a member of a rancorous and unpleasant sub-group of Catholics. Those of us seeking to restore what we believe has been lost have some reputation-building to do if we want to avoid being painted with the broad brush strokes some of our peers have earned for us.
 
In his wisdom, the Holy Father has reconciled the two Roman liturgies within the unity of one rite. It’s time those of us attached to them started working together, too.
 


Steve Skojec
is a columnist and blogger for InsideCatholic.com. He writes from Northern Virginia. Visit his blog at www.steveskojec.com.

By

Steve Skojec serves as the Director of Community Relations for a professional association. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he earned a BA in Communications and Theology. His passions include writing, photography, social media, and an avid appreciation of science fiction. Steve lives in Northern Virginia with his wife Jamie and their five children.

  • Jason

    Steve, your article is beautiful and eloquent. It recaps many of the best comments made by traditional Catholics on this site and we are all better for its inclusion here. I sincerely hope the comments that follow will continue your charitable and reasonable tone.

  • Marty

    Exceelent Post!

  • Jeff Pinyan

    I’m a “reform of the reform” guy, an amateur in the “new liturgical movement” prophesied (if you will) by Cardinal Ratzinger in the 90’s. I’m 26, so I grew up with the Ordinary Form, and it’s still the Mass I attend most of the time (since the nearest E.F. Mass offered is an hour away) although I have attended three Masses in the Extraordinary Form (and one Tenebrae).

    My feelings toward the present Ordinary Form of the Mass have been shaped by the opinions of a few notable clerics: Msgr. Klaus Gamber, Fr. Aidan Nichols O.P., Dom Alcuin Reid, and Josef Cardinal Ratzinger. Having read works by those men — most recently an excerpt of Ratzinger’s Milestones in a chapter where he claims that the crisis in the Church is due to the “disintegration of the liturgy” — I see an undying love for the traditional liturgy of the Church coupled with the belief in an organic reform (i.e. development) of the liturgy consonant with the Council’s Constitution.

    So my question for you, Steve, is based on your last sentence: “It’s time those of us attached to them started working together, too.” How do you envision that “working together”? What does it entail? Do you see the “new liturgical movement” as now comprising a “gravitational pull” (as Fr. Zuhlsdorf puts it) between the two forms of the Rite? What are the typical fruits you would expect from this “working together”?

  • Arturo Vasquez

    It’s good that you are letting the world know that traditionalists have had very valid reasons to be angry in the past. I for one dropped out of college to join an SSPX seminary, so I was among the angriest of the angry “rad trads”. I can honestly say that between 1999, when I was an angry 20 year old, and now, a lot has changed. Back then, it would seem, traditionalists were seen as far, far outside the mainstream, and the word, “Catholic traditionalist” and “Lefebvrist schismatic” were pretty much uttered in the same breath. Even devout Catholic suspected any sort of traditionalist as a closeted schismatic malcontents.

    Now, I feel, the general tenor of the Catholic media and Internet has been more welcoming of those who love the traditional Mass and love it exclusively. Even the traditional “Indult” Mass that I started out at in Oakland has about three times more people and is a sung Mass every Sunday. Things look like they are looking up, and most traditionalists have a much stronger relationship with this pontificate than they did with the last one (due to some controversial actions by the previous pontiff). The trads are now just as “Papist” as everyone else, and thus have less cause to get angry: at the Pope, at the hierarchy, the cosmos, whatever.

    Are there still angry, crazy traditionalists out there? Sure. Are there still Medjugorje nuts out there, or people who like liturgical dance, or Catholics who do transcendental meditation? Yes, as well. The crazies will always be with us. We have to be there for them to lovingly guide them back to the light; crazy, angry, misguided, or whatever.

  • dad29

    Hmmmnnnn.

    I am most skeptical of ‘post hoc/propter hoc’ arguments–those which (in general) claim that the Novus Ordo caused the reduction in Mass attendance and reception of Sacraments, etc., etc. I’ve even heard voiced the argument that the Novus is also related to upticks in divorce, deliberately childless marriages, abortion…you name it.

    In general, I tend to think that the wealth of the West caused these problems in far greater proportion than the Novus Ordo; and that the “wealth effect” began to take hold in the ’60’s, at the same time as the Novus was introduced (more or less.)

    But your essay does provoke the thought: rather than concentrating on the language change, the simplification of Rites, and the broadly-prescribed rules allowing for multiple variations–what if instead of those minutiae, we simply look at the fact that there was a BIG CHANGE?

    Could it then be argued that the ‘size of the change’ precipitated the sudden (apparent) diminishment of Faith and morals?

    IOW, did the “change” spur people to think that ‘all is relative, what the hey’ and look elsewhere for stability?

    Hmmmmmm.

  • Todd

    Thank you, Steve, for your heartfelt and impassioned statement. You do traditionalist Catholics credit.

    I would like to point out that the exodus from Sunday Mass attendance began in Europe decades before the implementation of the new Mass. It seems that lower Mass attendance also accompanied the advent of television, suburban sprawl, the end of ethnic Catholic ghettoes in North America and the accompanying mainstreaming of Catholics into largely Protestant cultures. Sociologists in this country also credit Humanae Vitae as a last straw of sorts. Father McAfee’s and Cardinal Dulles’ comments, while sincere, also betray a convenience that borders on naivete.

    The “new” Mass made demands of believers: singing, responding, an active participation that implied that faith is intended to be lived and taken and evangelized in the world. No wonder some people left, but were they really looking for a passive traditionalist worship that insisted on nothing but attendance?

    Complicating the situation were unprepared priests and leaders who approach liturgical renewal with a shameful degree of ham-fistedness. Why can we tell from that? No mortal or group has a monopoly of holiness.

    For a greater unity to be evoked in Roman Catholicism, I would suggest a greater faithfulness to the teachings of Vatican II, especially Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) is needed from adherents of the 1962 Rite. How do they approach the instruction for an expanded Lectionary to open up God’s Word (SC 51) to the faithful? How do they promote Pius XII’s active participation and the explicit description of it in SC 30? Do they promote noble beauty or sumptuous display (SC 124)? Are traditionalist laity encouraged (SC 100) to pray the Divine Office? Have they anointed the sick before the hour of death (SC 73)? Do they have an adult catechumenate(SC 64)? Do they promote reception of Communion from the same sacrifice (SC 55)? Have traditionalists even read Sacrosanctum Concilium?

    As a Roman rite Catholic praying the reformed liturgy, I believe we have the best of all possibilities, a truly catholic liturgy. We can sing plainsong, hymnody, contemporary music–all reverent and fitting for worship. We have the “lavish” riches of a new Lectionary, the invitation to participation both external and interior, and all the sacramental rites that go with it. We have an understanding that every Mass, every sacramental celebration, every public prayer aspires to the very best. There are no High Masses and Low Masses, no segregation for the convenience of the priest or his budget. The beauty of Roman worship is only limited by the skills discerned and cultivated within each parish or religious community. The baptism of the youngest baby, the anointing of the sick, the shared morning or evening prayer of the faithful: these may all aim for the highest expression of beauty that only the Tridentine High Mass of old aspired to provide.

    As far as traditionalist worship is concerned, I say “No thanks.” But if any traditionalist wants to talk about the aspirations of the best Catholic liturgy possible, I’m all ears.

  • Primus

    The “new Mass” only made easy demands – all talk, all the time. In the TLM, there is one huge demand: to commune with God, with concentration and reverence. That amounts to much more than simply talking out loud.

  • Jason

    Primus, your one-sentence comment is hardly an adequate response to Todd’s post. You can’t dismiss the NO Mass, properly authorized and promulgated, by saying it involves “all talk all the time”. Any one of us who aren’t already traditionalists might dismiss the TLM similarly by saying it is “just shut up and watch father”.

    Well, I guess you CAN dismiss it thus, but don’t expect most of us to take you seriously.

  • Joe Marier

    Good stuff, Steve.

  • Joe H

    Todd writes,

    “The “new” Mass made demands of believers: singing, responding, an active participation that implied that faith is intended to be lived and taken and evangelized in the world.”

    I don’t see why we have to have singing and responding at Mass in order to evangelize in the world.

    I’m not an expert on these matters, I would say I don’t know as much about them as I should. But I simply prefer the Tridentine Mass because I don’t want to go to a watered-down rock concert on Sundays. I cannot pray, I cannot think, with some wannabe Christian rock band blaring 20 feet away from where I am sitting. Even when I’m in the back of the church it is distracting and annoying. On the other hand, I love Gregorian chant and I would probably stop by on Sundays even if I weren’t Catholic just to hear it. I listen to it on my own time. And it is totally conducive to the state of mind I like to be in when I go to Mass.

    I don’t know, I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes or insult anyone’s views, but it seems to me that all of the singing, wailing, clapping, and amens you hear at some Protestant services are really necessary because they aren’t there to receive the body and blood of Christ. The true purpose of a gathering of Christians on Sunday is essentially gone, and these things fill the vacuum.

    It seems to me that a Catholic who really understands why he or she is at Mass on Sunday wouldn’t be clamoring for what I really think of as “frills”, and they certainly wouldn’t need them in order to be inspired to evangelize. But maybe that’s just me. I don’t feel alienated or uninspired by the traditional Mass, but I leave the modern Mass frustrated and annoyed. To have loud noise blared at me while I’m trying to pray and contemplate is violating.

    On a final note, I’m rather disturbed that anyone would actually try to interfere with or prevent traditional Catholics from celebrating the traditional Mass. If you don’t like it, fine; but to go that far is asking for a fight. It’s asking for “bitterness.” I’m new to the traditional Mass so I haven’t had to live through what some others have referenced here, these persecutions, but I can certainly understand why they may be bitter.

  • Primus

    Vatican II NEVER mandated that participatio actuosa involve the sort of stuff we see in the NO. What it meant was that Catholics should pay attention, incorporate the spirituality of the Mass into their being, and concentrate on communing with God. It didn’t mean lay ecclesial ministers, etc. The TLM is not “passive,” it is receptive, and there’s a difference. Receptivity is the proper attitude for Catholics before God. Inappropriate attitudes are self-celebration, a total focus on community, etc.

  • Jim

    …propter hoc. The long lines at the confessional evaporated in the 1970’s and coincidental with the use of the NO. If allowed to be made conveniently available, it would be interesting to observe one thing, i.e. whether there is a difference in frequency of sacramental confession for who regularly attend the NO vs those who attend the 1962 rite.
    This past Sunday, our pastor who was being transferred from our parish was heralded by one young 8th grader from the ambo. This youngster remarked about how grateful she was that the pastor had encouraged her peers to go to confession at least once a year. Something was radically different from when I was in the 8th grade. Was it the form of the Mass or was it a reflection of how Catholics redefined their relationship with God?

  • Mark Shea

    May your tribe increase!

  • Hilary

    With Todd taking point. Amazing how the guy is always present within seconds of a liturgical post. It’s as if…as if…he doesn’t do anything else…

    And the message is always the same.

  • JACK

    Steve:

    I want to thank you for your even-handedness. So many who approach this subject don’t. I speak for what I hope is a growing minority that is grateful for all the rites of the Church (east and west) and doesn’t want to see any of our liturgies lost, but all celebrated with reverence. Much is to be learned from them all and there’s no reason why that can’t be.

    Which is why I think that the notion of superiority needs to be dropped. At least, in the implementation. Nothing kills conversation more than one side proclaiming the superiority of their preference over the other. It’s like the worst back-handed complement your mother-in-law has ever given. You know what the apparent meaning of the words are, but you also have moral certainty of the intent.

    If superiority needs to be spoken, then I think it needs to be spoken of in the parts. Speak of why a certain element of this liturgy or that liturgy better presents this or that element of Catholic teaching. In that way, the possibility of a gravitational pull becomes a reality, for we expose to the light the beauty of the faith and, if recognized, the possibility of enriching a liturgy’s manifestation of it. I think there’s a danger among some traditionalists to think that the gravitational pull is a one way thing. Sorry, but I find it unfathomable to think that there was no good reason for reform, however badly history may have played itself out.

    As for the active participation point, I think some just need to give that a rest. Like someone else posted the it’s all talk/it’s shut up and listen arguments can be made by both sides and it doesn’t advance anything.

    The real point is that the general Catholic population has little understanding about what active participation is because they have little understanding of what Christianity is (see Pope Benedict’s definition from Deus Caritas Est). In that light, I suspect that those who like to burden the ordinary form with responsibility for every ill we have seen in the past two generations are off base. For if Christianity was truly being lived and understood in the sense Pope Benedict calls us to, I cannot fathom why the change in the liturgy would result in the mass exodus of Catholics from the pews. It is precisely because there was something incomplete and skewed in the lived practice of the faith — if I were to hazzard a guess, I’d suggest a real tendency towards moralism and legalism, of thinking Christianity is a “packet of dogmas” at best, to quote Pope Benedict on what Christianity is precisely not — that things went further wrong. When the population that went astray were all raised and form in the extraordinary form, one can’t put all the blame on the new form as if people are just ping pong balls, with no will, intellect and freedom.

    Of course, as we have seen, the ordinary form may have only exacerbated the problem in the way the ordinary form has been implemented by some. And while the ordinary form obviously calls for active participation closer to the surface (which is not to deny interior active participation, but certainly shines a lot on those who were merely being passive), it certainly has made room for the error of activity being mistaken for participation. And to my mind, the worst problem, has been the further confusing of the laity of the boldness of their secular calling to transform the world by generating a view of ministry as being about activity during Mass.

    Time will tell if we are on a new path. I hope so, Steve. And I appreciate your efforts.

  • Hilary

    Avery Dulles. I met him and ate breakfast with him at a conference some years ago in Chicago. He did not realise until the conversation turned towards liturgy that he was seated at a table full of Traditinalists, including one of the North American officers of CIEL.

    He made it clear that he thought the whole traddie objection to the new Mass was silly and that it was undoubtedly on its way out anyway with all the young JPII generation world clapping happily along with the Novus Ordo without a care in the world.

    He was shocked, visibly, when he found out that everyone sitting with him at the table, obviously none of whom were over forty, all attended exclusively, or tried to attend exclusively what we then called “the Traditional Latin Mass”.

    “You mean with the Last Gospel and fiddle back chasubles and everything?” he asked, disbelieving.

    We assured him and then to prove it, started reciting the Latin responses from memory.

    I think in the end he still didn’t quite believe it, and advised us to drop our foolish addiction to the dying past.

  • Hilary

    if only we can get the Sarum rite up and running in Ye Merrie Oldie, everything will be back on track.

  • a

    Ah, I see Hilary is our enlightened angel. Good to know we have such guides in this life. Goodness.

  • Steve Skojec

    Jeff Pinyan wrote: So my question for you, Steve, is based on your last sentence: “It’s time those of us attached to them started working together, too.” How do you envision that “working together”? What does it entail? Do you see the “new liturgical movement” as now comprising a “gravitational pull” (as Fr. Zuhlsdorf puts it) between the two forms of the Rite? What are the typical fruits you would expect from this “working together”?

    It’s a good question, Jeff, and one without an easy answer.

    First, I think good will needs to be established among those willing to engage in it. Both sides need to talk about their positions with respect, and look at the substantive issues therein.

    I think we would all do well to pay more attention to the Holy Father when he says we must eschew a “Hermeneutic of Rupture” and embrace a “Hermeneutic of Continuity”. Modern Catholicism is in large part walled off from much of the past teachings and traditions of the Church, and those of a traditional mentality need to work on becoming “restorationists” more than “traditionalists”. The former word implies bringing forward what was good about the past and making it vibrant again, rather than encamping in some arbitrary spot in history and deciding to hunker down and not move forward.

    The TLM is subject again to organic liturgical development. This is in evidence with the changes the Holy Father made to the Good Friday prayers this past Lent. New saints need to be included in the old calendar. Considerations should be made on whether to expand the audible responses of the people during Mass. Any number of issues here can be discussed.

    The gravitational pull you speak of, however, is likely to favor the TLM, since it has the centuries old veneration of the Church. When comparing the two, weight should be given to what has withstood the test of time and born the fruit of sancity (and sainthood) countless times. There is much in the new rite that should be conformed to the old. the Novus Ordo needs to be more rooted and consistent, and reverence should be more than one option among many.

  • Steve Skojec

    I’d also argue we need to broaden our perspective in terms of Catholic education. I have a BA in Theology, but not only do I not know Latin (it wasn’t required), I never read some of the most important papal writings of the 20th century (let alone before that): Pascendi Dominici Gregis (St. Pius X on Modernism), Mortalium Animos (Pius XI on religious unity/ecumenical prayer), Mediator Dei (Pius XII on sacred liturgy) and Veterum Sapientiae (Bl. John XXIII on the importance of Latin in the life of the Church). All of these documents speak directly to the issues Catholics are facing today in these very debates on liturgy, Catholic culture, and tradition. Why did I have to read them on my own? Why do I feel like my entire education consisted of an ecclesiastical view whose origin point lies at the convocation of the Second Vatican Council?

    We also need to remember that we are all Catholic, and inasmuch, we should all be working toward the same ends. That said, the means to the end matter. Details matter. Rubrics matter. The Church has always shown us this. We need to reconsider the focus of the liturgy, our role in it, and what its ultimate purpose is. Liturgy is of its essence theocentric – it is worship of God offered to God, whereby the priest, acting in the person of God offers God as sacrifice and sin oblation, again, to God. I truly believe we’ve lost that sensibility, and it needs to be restored.

    We need to be honest, and open, and willing to approach these questions in such a way that we restore continuity between the past and the present. What shape the liturgy will take is anyone’s guess, and God’s only to know, but I doubt we’ll see a synthesis any time soon. With luck, and with orthodoxy and tradition as a guideline, the two forms will begin to look more alike.

  • Peter Park

    Splendid, Steve. Thank you for calling us forth to meet the challenges of Catholic restoration.

  • Bender

    More slaps in the face of the Church.

    This is supposed to be a more “reasoned” response? Can we not just simply love the Church and our fellow Catholics? Truly love them, which does not mean conditionally or as we wish them to be, but as they actually are? Can we not try that just a little?

    And how about cutting back on the extreme hyperbole? It is not helpful, it is not charitable, it is not unifying.

    Vatican II and the 1970 Missal were not the cause of the problems, they were responses to the problems. Indeed, it was because of the spiritual and educational weaknesses of the pre-Vatican II Catholic that so many of those same Catholics bolted. Had the TLM and Baltimore Catechism truly made Catholic soldiers for Christ, then absolutely positively nothing could ever dislodge them from the citadel of the Church, not even changes in the liturgy. Yet, their faith proved to be as substantial as smoke in the wind.

    No, they were pushing for divorce and contraception long before Vatican II, and they were spiritually absent from Mass long before the vernacular or the 1970 Missal, even if they were physically present. The problems in the Church and society at large were festering long before the 1960s. Indeed, that was the very reason that the Council was deemed necessary.

    Here is the opinion of one particular participant (Joseph Ratzinger) at Vatican II — “he also remarked that the old liturgy was flawed. In particular, he notes that ‘the celebration of the old liturgy had slipped too much into the domain of the individual and the private, and that the communion between priests and faithful was insufficient’ — that people privately recited prayers from their prayer books during most of the Mass. He suggests that these factors probably accounted for the indifference of most Catholics when the old liturgical books disappeared: ‘People had never been in contact with the liturgy itself.'”
    — “Pope Benedict XVI and the Liturgical Reform,” Helen Hull Hitchcock at adoremus.org

    Vatican II and the 1970 Missal were the remedy, not the disease.

  • David

    In the the Epistle according to the 1962 missal from this past Sunday, St. Paul admonishes us to avoid the sins of the flesh including, of course,

  • David W.

    So Steve, if Pope Benedict XVI had not issued the Motu Proprio…what would your opinion of the man be then? You see, there are still hints of the “more Catholic than the Pope” attitude in the Traditionalist camp, no matter how “moderate” it may be. Todd made some good points about the Pauline Liturgy, and Bender is spot on in his assessment of the so called “Good Old Days.” Acknowledging these issues doesn’t make me (or anyone else) a liberal Protestantizer…far from it. Blessed John XXIII, in his wisdom saw what was happening and knew that it had to be addressed. Pope Paul VI is not the bogeyman that radical traditionalists paint. Bender got it…people stopped giving a damn before the Council. The downward spiral had its seeds sown before Vatican II, before 1970. And what you had was instead of people trying to understand what the Church was doing, they reacted. Of course there were abuses of the Reform, of course you had heterodoxy all over…but it was there under the surface all along…and the Traditionalists stick their head in the sand and tried to pretend it was all Pope Paul VI’s fault. If ONLY they had kept the TLM they will say….If what? Do you honestly think that the Latin Mass would have stopped what was to come? Do you think that, as has been noted…the shrinking attention span, TV and the increasing complacency of the Laity would have been stemmed and reversed if only the Latin had been kept?

  • Jeff Culbreath

    Bender wrote: “Here is the opinion of one particular participant (Joseph Ratzinger) at Vatican II — ‘he also remarked that the old liturgy was flawed …'”

    FLAWED???? That’s awfully judgmental, doncha think? Sounds like he may have thought one rite is superior to the other!
    There’s a man we can do business with. 🙂

    Good article, Steve!

  • Ann

    I predict there will be no going back to traditional mass on a large scale.

    I was born in the 70s. Guitars and Glory & Praise are to me what Gregorian Chant is to some traditionalists. I am accustomed to the priest facing me, prayers in English, singing and praying out loud.

    For many of us that were born and raised after the change, the current Mass IS “traditional Mass.”

  • William

    For those who were up and around in 1963, the obvious has been all too painful: baptized Catholics have abandoned the Faith in droves. Had the last forty years borne fruit that is identifiably positive, we would not be having this discussion. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It is broken, however, and it needs fixing. Praise and thank God daily for Benedict XVI.

  • Richard

    it. Those prayer books you mentioned that people were busily reading from were filled with both the Latin and the English (in an excellent literal translation) versions of what both the priest and the servers were saying. You could follow along in either language or both. There was even a special arrangement in many parishes (by explicit permission of the Bishop) for the people to speak the responses and some of the priests words aloud – I forget the name of that variation but can find it if necessary.

    It is also a fallacy that the NO shortened the mass. The TLM easily clocked in at one hour which the NO always does or exceeds in my parish.
    True, it could be zoomed thru at much less than that, depending on the pastor’s love for public speaking. I understand that in our diocese the priests lecture MUST be at least 10 minutes. I can remember when as a young person I could walk out of a 45 minute mass still musing on what the Priest had said to us in 5 minutes – he was that short and that good.

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Steve Skojec wrote: First, I think good will needs to be established among those willing to engage in it. Both sides need to talk about their positions with respect, and look at the substantive issues therein.

    And this, of course, requires some scholarship on both sides about both sides. That’s why I’ve been reading. 🙂 I want to be educated about the liturgy (past and present) so that I can make worthwhile contributions to discussions as well as listen receptively and understand what I’m hearing.

    Steve Skojec wrote: I think we would all do well to pay more attention to the Holy Father when he says we must eschew a “Hermeneutic of Rupture” and embrace a “Hermeneutic of Continuity”. Modern Catholicism is in large part walled off from much of the past teachings and traditions of the Church, and those of a traditional mentality need to work on becoming “restorationists” more than “traditionalists”.

    Unfortunately (or not?), dissenting priests like Fr. Patrick Brennan (of Holy Family in Inverness, IL) use “restorationist” in a derogatory manner (following after Gerald Arbuckle’s lead in his book, “Refounding the Church: Dissent for Leadership”). As for the two contrasting hermeneutics, it’s refreshing to see that Ratzinger has said things that strong (and to bishops, no less) since becoming Pope. Too often I hear that Ratzinger’s pre-papal words have no bearing on his papacy.

    Steve Skojec wrote: The TLM is subject again to organic liturgical development. … Any number of issues here can be discussed.

    I think a couple issues to start with could be: a) the recognition of the homily as a part of the liturgical act; b) reconciling the Gradual with the Responsorial Psalm; c) examining the Prayer of the Faithful (using the Good Friday liturgy as the model); d) a wider selection of Scripture (probably starting with ferials); e) a selective concession of the Chalice (more in tune with the Constitution than today); f) more somber concelebration, less often, and in a more traditional manner (if such a thing is possible).

    These might sound academic, but they’re the first that come to mind.

    Steve Skojec wrote: The gravitational pull you speak of, however, is likely to favor the TLM, since it has the centuries old veneration of the Church. When comparing the two, weight should be given to what has withstood the test of time and born the fruit of sancity (and sainthood) countless times. There is much in the new rite that should be conformed to the old. the Novus Ordo needs to be more rooted and consistent, and reverence should be more than one option among many.

    I am in complete agreement with you here: the E.F. has far more weight (gravitationally) than the O.F.

  • nicholas

    I will offer my prayers for you.

  • Steve Skojec

    Todd wrote: For a greater unity to be evoked in Roman Catholicism, I would suggest a greater faithfulness to the teachings of Vatican II, especially Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) is needed from adherents of the 1962 Rite. How do they approach the instruction for an expanded Lectionary to open up God’s Word (SC 51) to the faithful? How do they promote Pius XII’s active participation and the explicit description of it in SC 30? Do they promote noble beauty or sumptuous display (SC 124)? Are traditionalist laity encouraged (SC 100) to pray the Divine Office? Have they anointed the sick before the hour of death (SC 73)? Do they have an adult catechumenate(SC 64)? Do they promote reception of Communion from the same sacrifice (SC 55)? Have traditionalists even read Sacrosanctum Concilium?

    Todd – the good news is that Sacrosanctum Concilium is not a dogmatic or universal constitution; it’s been applied once to the Roman Rite (it didn’t apply to other rites of the Church) and there was as an end product a resulting new liturgy, and the de facto suppression of the old.

    Pope Benedict has made no mention of the fact that Sacrosanctum Concilium applies to the Gregorian Rite. In essence, it was protected by being mothballed. This means that it is likely that whatever development it undergoes will happen in a less comprehensive and more organic fashion. (If anyone has a better sense of the legality and/or necessity of applying SC to the TLM or any of the other rites approved by the Church, feel free to chime in)

    Still, I’ll try to take each of these in turn:

    SC 51: This option may well be on the table, but there is a different theology at work in the Extraordinary Form (henceforth EF, and OF for Novus Ordo). In the EF, the scriptures are offered as God’s word back to God, a fitting offering. Further, while there is a pedagogical aspect to the scripture readings, this aspect is secondary to the primary purpose of worship and oblation.

    Expanding the “lectionary” (there is no such term in the EF) would have to be considered carefully in light of this. Further, the repetition of bible texts in context of the feasts to which they correspond is actually a more powerful learning tool than a three-year cycle of readings. The most important passages are heard over and over again, until they become second nature. It’s also worth noting that the EF itself is a deeply scriptural liturgy, with many prayers drawn from the scriptures themselves.

    SC 30 – Much ink has been spilled over the proper understanding of “actual participation”, so I won’t reproduce it here. Suffice it to say I would disagree with the implied busyness SC 30 prescribes as being the correct interpretation of “actual participation”, but I don’t see a problem with the people saying the server’s responses (Ecclesia Dei has already allowed for this) which would cover psalms and responses; kneeling, sitting and standing at the appropriate times and striking one’s breast or making signs of the cross or genuflections as the rite prescribes covers “gestures and bodily attitudes” and “reverent silence” is a hallmark of the EF, so no problem there. Songs are fine as applicable.

    SC 124 – This paragraph of SC is so vague as to be meaningless. If you’ve ever been to Rome, you know what the churches look like there (or for that matter most of Europe and Mexico). Is this noble beauty or sumptuous display? Remember, we can’t exactly cast aspersions on the architectural and artistic manifestations of the Church over the centuries without casting aspersions on the Church. You tell me.

    SC 100 – I think this is a great idea. I’ve been to Vespers, but I don’t pray the divine office. Not that it isn’t appealing, I just have never devoted myself to learning how to do it.

    continued…

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Steve Skojec wrote: … not only do I not know Latin (it wasn’t required), I never read some of the most important papal writings of the 20th century (let alone before that): Pascendi Dominici Gregis (St. Pius X on Modernism), Mortalium Animos (Pius XI on religious unity/ecumenical prayer), Mediator Dei (Pius XII on sacred liturgy) and Veterum Sapientiae (Bl. John XXIII on the importance of Latin in the life of the Church).

    I’m trying to learn Latin… As for important documents from the past century or so, I started reading these things in January of 2007. I’ve got some 70 or so documents (most are liturgical in nature) under my belt now. Like I said in my other response, I’m trying to educate myself (since I never received such training, nor have time to pursue a Master’s degree right now). The downside is that I’m still just an “amateur” who thinks he knows something because he’s “read a couple books and papal encyclicals”.

    Steve Skojec wrote: Why did I have to read them on my own? Why do I feel like my entire education consisted of an ecclesiastical view whose origin point lies at the convocation of the Second Vatican Council?

    I know what you mean. I suggested to the person in charge of Adult Faith Formation at my parish that, pursuant to the Holy Father’s suggestion at the Eucharistic Congress, we organize a parish series on Sacrosanctum Concilium. It’s probably not going to happen, though. 🙁 I wonder how many people at my parish have read it (or care to).

    Steve Skojec wrote: We also need to remember that we are all Catholic, and inasmuch, we should all be working toward the same ends. That said, the means to the end matter. Details matter. Rubrics matter. The Church has always shown us this.

    Indeed. Since I started doing my reading last year, I’ve become increasingly sensitive to the details of the liturgy, including obedience to the rubrics. Sometimes this has unpleasant effects on me, though; it’s a near occasion to scrupulosity for me.

    Steve Skojec wrote: We need to be honest, and open, and willing to approach these questions in such a way that we restore continuity between the past and the present. … the two forms will begin to look more alike.

    Sounds good to me. Thank you for your answers, Steve!

  • Steve Skojec

    SC 73 – Not sure what your point is here, nor what the efficacy of the sacrament is on an arbitrary basis. When should it be administered? At retirement age? 70? 75? Extreme Unction (I’ll stick with the conventional name) provides special graces for the time of death. Without certitude that this is approaching, what does it offer that Mass and Confession don’t?

    SC 64 – No problem here.

    SC 55 – This doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. What in the world difference does it make, and why doesn’t SC explain it any better than that?

    I tend to agree with Cardinal Ottaviani on this point:

    “In the insistent recommendation to distribute in Communion the Species consecrated during the same Mass, indeed to consecrate a loaf for the priest to distribute to at least some of the faithful, we find reasserted disparaging attitude towards the Tabernacle, as towards every form of Eucharistic piety outside of the Mass. This constitutes yet another violent blow to faith in the Real Presence as long as the consecrated Species remain.”

  • Charles Miller

    I just have to wonder if I am the only one who thinks that the re-invigoration of the Latin Mass is a great thing, yet I probably will not leave my parish to find one, will keep going to NO on Sundays, until Mother Church tells me otherwise?

    We are all after the same Sacrament, the Eucharist. It’s not a matter of good-bad, liberal-conservative, up-down, black-white. It seems to me there are two roads leading up to the same glorious Body and Blood.

    It can’t be made that simple, or can it?

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Ann wrote: Guitars and Glory & Praise are to me what Gregorian Chant is to some traditionalists. I am accustomed to the priest facing me, prayers in English, singing and praying out loud. For many of us that were born and raised after the change, the current Mass IS “traditional Mass.”

    I was born in 1981, and I had my share of “folk Masses” growing up. But I disagree with your comparison. Chant is not to traditionalists what guitars are to… whatever moniker you want to use. A tradition over a thousand years old that the Church has called the proper music for Her liturgy and which She considers the supreme form of sacred music is NOT comparable to a innovation a few decades old. Traditionalists don’t love chant because that’s what they grew up with: they love it because it is the Church’s proper music.

    The Mass of 1969 was not “traditional” in the sense that it was not “handed on” but manufactured.

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Steve Skojec wrote: SC 55 – This doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever. What in the world difference does it make, and why doesn’t SC explain it any better than that?
    [quote=Cardinal Ottaviani]In the insistent recommendation to distribute in Communion the Species consecrated during the same Mass, indeed to consecrate a loaf for the priest to distribute to at least some of the faithful, we find reasserted disparaging attitude towards the Tabernacle, as towards every form of Eucharistic piety outside of the Mass. This constitutes yet another violent blow to faith in the Real Presence as long as the consecrated Species remain.

    [/quote]I have the same kind of reaction. I find the preference for “freshly consecrated” hosts (and the consumption of remaining hosts) to be a bit odd, since it seems directed towards never having any left to reserve in the tabernacle.

  • Steve Skojec

    David W. wrote: So Steve, if Pope Benedict XVI had not issued the Motu Proprio…what would your opinion of the man be then?

    I’m not sure how I can deal in hypotheticals here. What would the hallmarks of his papacy be if he didn’t do X, Y, or Z? You assume that I appreciate him because he did what I want. The fact is that I appreciate him because he did what is right. Let’s steer this away from subjectivism and preference, shall we?

    David W. wrote: You see, there are still hints of the “more Catholic than the Pope” attitude in the Traditionalist camp, no matter how “moderate” it may be.

    Let’s not talk about the traditionalist camp. Let’s talk about my arguments. This “more Catholic than the pope” canard is nonsense if the evaluation by which the pope is measured is not the individual, (ie., me, Steve Skojec) but by his predecessors, and in comparison to the perennial teaching of the Church.

    For example, in the papal bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, issued by Pope Paul IV in 1559, states that, “We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff,who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.”

    Popes are judged – by the Church, of course, not by bloggers – based on their adherence to perennial teaching. Bloggers (or parishioners, theologians, etc.) however, are certainly within their rights to respectfully propose that something a pope has done seems incongruous with the perennial teaching of the Church.

    The idea that a man can hold himself to be “more Catholic than the pope” is only offensive when one considers the sanctity of the pope in question. There were a number of popes in the unfortunate history of the Church in comparsion to whom I’d bet a majority of people in this comment box were “more Catholic than” if one considers the public scandal and sin of some of the successors of St. Peter. This is simply something to keep in mind for the purposes of discussion here – popes are not infallible in all things or indefectable in their character, and to suggest otherwise is an error of its own kind.

  • Steve Skojec

    David W. wrote: Pope Paul VI is not the bogeyman that radical traditionalists paint.

    This isn’t about bogeymen. It’s about popes taking upon themselves unprecedented liturgical actions,(ie., the implementation of an entirely new liturgy; communion in the hand, etc.) in what seems to be a pretty obvious violation of the Church’s tradition. Is this not subject to critique?

    David W. wrote: Bender got it…people stopped giving a damn before the Council. The downward spiral had its seeds sown before Vatican II, before 1970.

    It’s an assumption on your part that I deny this. There are, amongst traditional Catholics, any number who think that the 1950s was a golden age of the Church. This is utter nonsense. If things weren’t already headed south, Vatican II and the Novus Ordo would NOT have accomplished the drastic results that they did, and people would not have so readily left the faith. I noted correlation, not causality. I think that the implementation of a new liturgy that was utterly alien on top of poor catechesis and major social trends that were counterintutive to faith all played a role in the exodus from the faith.

    David W. wrote: Do you honestly think that the Latin Mass would have stopped what was to come?

    First of all, it’s not simply the fact that it was in Latin that gave the old mass its potency – it was its theological formulation. Secondly, no, I don’t think it would have stopped what was to come, but I do think it might have slowed it. The worst time to rip the leaky roof off a house is right before the downpour hits. No matter how much damage the roof has taken, it’s better than no roof at all.

  • Tito Edwards

    I concur with Peter, thanks for your fine article and the need for evangelizing.

    God bless our Catholic faith.

  • GBurns

    The mass is meant to be the church’s official worship of God.

    The Novus Ordo emphasis the external participation with singing, responding and looking at the priest. Ask any person under 70 years of age unfamiliar with the ER (TLM) and they will tell you that in order to properly participate in the mass you have to sing the songs, pray the prayers aloud and watch the priest and sometimes mimic his hand motions. No mention of the internal participaion that Christ truly requires of us.

    The TLM does require our focus to be on the sacred liturgy that is occuring. In order to particiapate in the TLM mass
    we need to offer or heart and minds and our joys and sufferings with the sacrifice that is taking place on the altar, At the offering of bread and wine water is added as a symbole of our offering of our fallen humanity to be joined with Christ’s sacrifice to God.

    This is the sacrifice that God intends for us to worsip Him.

    I feel much better Praising God the way He wants to be praised.

    The Lord will not accecpt the outware signs. He said he wanted the hearts of the people offered in union with his Sacrice to the Altar in heaven.

    This message has been largely lost in the Post vatican ll upheaval.

    The people who love the ER (TLM) will tell you the right way to worship God The Father.

    God the Father wants our hearts lifted up to Him at each sacrifice of the mass.

  • Bender

    Richard wrote: Those prayer books you mentioned that people were busily reading from . . .

    Richard, it was not I who mentioned those books, it was Cardinal Ratzinger who said that. Take your complaints to him.

  • Bender

    The idea that every man is a pope unto himself, that we are all priests, or even gods who can judge for ourselves things like “truth” (as claimed over at Shea’s place), all that may be very attractive and tempting, but it is not consistent with the idea of One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

    I know that some know-it-all young priest made a big name for himself some years ago claiming to know better than the Pope and bishops, and he had lots of followers, but I should think twice about having Father Marty as my model.

  • Patrick

    I have been attending the E.F. (when available) since the late eighties. Long before that, during my early childhood, it was the only Latin Rite liturgy available. I have yet to experience the widespread anger and bitterness that I keep reading about on these blogs. When I read about it, I find myself asking, “Geez, where do those people attend Mass?”

    Secondly, I am afraid Mark Shea has succeeded in shifting the focus of the debate from the actual issue (the liturgy) to an ad hominem attack on people who like to attend the traditional liturgy. What Shea is doing is called “ignoring the issue.” We see it all the time in politics. For instance, if you voice your objection to the effort to redefine marriage to include homosexuals, you are called a “homophobe, bigot, hateful, etc.” Shea doesn’t seem to agree with the aims of the traditionalist movement, and this is his way of marginalizing its followers.

    Furthermore, It is particularly galling that someone like Mark Shea finds it within his purview to imply that many traditionalists are “evil.” Evidently, the current pope and the previous pope are more conciliatory towards the so called traditionalists than Mark Shea (talk about being more Catholic than the pope).

    Lastly, I will continue to seek out the E.F., and I hope it becomes more widely available. It is the Mass of my youth, it is the Mass my parents and ancestors knew, and I believe it to be a superior expression of the Faith. Also, the Code of Canon states that I have the right and the responsibility to make known my concerns on such matters in a respectful manner. I suggest we all pay less attention to bloggers who level attacks at the personalities and emotional state of E.F. Mass-goers. It seems to me that there is some anger and bitterness underlying such attacks.

  • Marty

    Interesting comment from Ann:

  • fbc

    Very well done, Mr. Skojec.

    I too attend the TLM and have since shortly after my conversion in 1996. I went through much the same phases myself – first, disappointment, then the much-ballyhooed “rad-trad anger” which eventually subsided to a point.

    Today I continue to attend the TLM, but also attend the Novus Ordo during the week. As a third-order Franciscan postulant, I pray the divine office as well (the reformulated office, that is.)

    I don’t think anyone (who actually met me, that is) would describe me as “angry”. Saddened sometimes, to see how viscerally most of my fellow Catholics hate anything that smacks of tradition — but not angry.

    In fact, if anything, I am very hopeful. I know that Peter guides this barque with the Holy Spirit flying spiritual cover. I know that in the end it will all be just fine. And I’m fine with that too.

    Dominus vobiscum.

  • Hilary

    Forty-five?!

    I guess people were just kind of Tradded-out Steve.

  • David L Alexander

    … and since Mark and I both agree, you’re obviously on the right track.

    The “dinner with Cardinal Dulles” story was most amusing. Perhaps the good Father discovered who really was stuck in a “dying past,” without having to be told.

    I’ve been a master of ceremonies at the parish you mention for nearly a year now. It is hard to imagine a time when no one could have seen me in that position — my counterparts at a parish where I once served called me “slow and untrainable” — but it shows how God has the last word. He had it with me as well, as I avoided acting on a preference for the Traditional Mass for the longest time. The reason has to do with the part of Mr Shea’s essay that is true. Yes, some of it is.

    But the problem comes in reducing things to extremes, to generalizations. Any collective of enough numbers will have many shades in between. Some people are angry, some are less angry, still others are more than content. It was only when I could find that venue where I could return to the tradition I knew as a child, without the unnecessary angst, that I could make a decided change of habit. Except for Holy Week (which in our parish was “novus ordo” in Latin, facing East, as it involved the whole parish), I have not returned to the “new Mass,” nor do I care to.

    One of the disadvantages of getting what you want, is that you have one less person to blame for that which troubles you. In the Traditional Mass, the focus on the interior makes us look inward. If you can’t do that, what is the point of that preference?

  • Jim

    The real reason ‘rad-trads’ are scorned isn’t because of their beliefs. But the fact they often come off as arrogant jerks. No matter what the factor is we’re discussing, when a person acts like an pompous ass, they won’t find people beating a path to their door. I think the ‘rad-trads’ create their own scorn in a twisted attempt to show the world they “stand” only with God and not with man. They create their own fullfillment of John 15:18 for their own self serving purposes.

  • B

    ….I am so sorry for Mr.Shea “opinion”…..
    is he the same Mr Shea, who has many articles on other website ?…how low he will go ?…

  • John

    I am a 51 year-old Catholic man who attended the traditional Latin Mass and remember it as it occurred before the Novus Ordo liturgy was promulgated. The first Novus Ordo Mass in my town was held in 1969 at the university parish. I still have the newspaper article that was written about the event.

    The thing I remember most about the “old Mass” was that it made me cry. No sooner than the Mass began, the tears would start rolling down. The tears weren’t accompanied by sadness or emotional pain or distress, but by a surge of love in the pit of my breast. I was very young and had no idea where those tears came from.

    At Latin Mass I would be aware of my chums in the pews, but only because I tried to conceal the tears from them. Otherwise, my entire focus was on the sound of the chant and to the intercessory work of the priest on the altar.

    The New Mass changed all of that. Gone were the tears and the incredible surging of warmth in my chest and the sound of Gregorian chant. They were replaced with the personalities of the people in the pews around me. I was painfully struck by the way certain people sang, so loud and forcefully. I was dismayed by the way others responded to the prayers led by the “presider” (also loud and forcefully). They were terrible distractions for me. I truly lost the sense of God when I attended the New Mass. Sadly, by the time I was thirteen years old I had left the Church. (I returned about twenty years later.)

    I do believe that the mass exodus (or should I say Mass exodus) from the pews in the late 60s and early 70s was due to the changes in the Mass. Less and less importance was given to the Eucharist. The priest as intercessor on our behalf for the purpose of giving us the Body and Blood of Christ was replaced with a priest presider who led the “service” or a priest “celebrant” who helped us “celebrate” the liturgy. The tabernacle was taken away and I was left adrift in a sea of “personalities”, most of whom are gray and getting pretty old by now. Thousands upon thousands of Catholics were somehow led to believe that the Church had lost its sense of mission.

    In December of 2007, however, the Tridentine extraordinary form of Mass was restored to our diocese and I haven’t been back to a Novus Ordo Sunday Mass since.

  • John Gibson

    I may be wrong, but I believe that when the Vatican II council called for Full and Active Participation they may have had the Divine Liturgy of the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Orthodox Churches in mind. Another reason of my belief is the restoration of the Permanent Deaconate, which the East never lost.

    Each participant has a liturgical function, the Deacon in the Divine Liturgy has his place, the Priest his, and the laity theirs. Each part is chanted back and forth as Worship to God.

    I do know that one of the reasons for my anger was the fact that at the Parishes that I attended, that if you were more traditional you were ridiculed, and told that your “views” didn’t “jive” with Vatican II (I was actually told this at a worship commission meeting.) Simply asking for a more traditional hymn would bring down scorn upon you.

  • Angela

    While I am a convert and have only attended one Low Mass, and I admit that I was lost, it conveyed a beauty that I have not seen or felt on the NO Mass. That being said, I am in no position to drive the hour and a half it would take to attend the Traditional Rite. I just wish that there would be a return to sacredness. The Mass at my parish reminds me of the watered down service of my protestant days. The music is horrible and does nothing to lift the mind to God. Instead it blathers about how great WE are. Yuck. Also, with the push toward youth lectors, cantors, amd extraordinary echarist ministers, the feeling that we are there for the Lord gets lost in all the parading, stuttering, mispronounced words, not to mention short skirts, sloppy attire and giggling, that it becomes a meeting hall or youth assembly rather than the highest form of prayer.I wish that the youth could be content to listen and worship instead of having everything watered down. Oh, by the way I have seven children and homeschool and love children, I just want a Holy, God-centered Mass

  • Ann

    Jeff: The current Mass will be 1,000 years old one day too!

    Marty: I would never chastise a traddy and I did not do that in my comment.

    nicolas: I’m not sure what I wrote in my comment that would be so offensive to you that I deserved a loaded “I’ll pray for you comment.” Creepy.

    In fact, this whole website, or at least this thread, is creeping me out. Proof that life is better lived in real life!

  • Fr Se

    I would like to add my congratulations for a very succinct summary, Steve. As a young man and a seminarian I too ached for the traditional faith of the Church, but realized that it was nonsense to leave the open communion of the same Church to achieve what I longed for. It would be, as we say, cutting off my nose to spite my face. As Newman commented, the Church would look very foolish without the laity! So I stayed, and never went to Ec

  • Todd

    “Amazing how the guy is always present within seconds of a liturgical post. It’s as if…as if…he doesn’t do anything else…

    “And the message is always the same.”

    Hilary, a few things:

    I am aware of a certain pattern in the timing of essays. I do write for IC, after all.

    They’ll never call me a waffler. Plus, I can be very tenacious.

  • David W.

    “I’m not sure how I can deal in hypotheticals here. What would the hallmarks of his papacy be if he didn’t do X, Y, or Z? You assume that I appreciate him because he did what I want. The fact is that I appreciate him because he did what is right. Let’s steer this away from subjectivism and preference, shall we?”

    REPLY: This debate is all about “Preference.” Those who “Prefer” the TLM or the Pauline Rite. My question was what if he hadn’t of “Done the Right Thing”…would he still be the Lion of Traditionalism? It’s a fair question, considering all the rhetoric coming out of the TLM Supremacist Camp.

    “Let’s not talk about the traditionalist camp. Let’s talk about my arguments. This “more Catholic than the pope” canard is nonsense if the evaluation by which the pope is measured is not the individual, (ie., me, Steve Skojec) but by his predecessors, and in comparison to the perennial teaching of the Church.”

    REPLY: It’s a tricky thing, that “Perennial Teaching”….No doubt many French Catholics cried foul when Pope Leo XIII accepted the French Republic, or made conciliatory overtures that defied Pope Piux IX’s positions…or when Pope Benedict XV quietly backed off from Pope Pius X’s policies. Or take the example of Pope Pius XII allowing the laity to make a peep at Mass…Oh the Horror! Or when he relaxed the Easter Triduum pieties. All Papal Perogatives…all a mixed bag, with mixed reactions.

    “For example, in the papal bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, issued by Pope Paul IV in 1559, states that, “We have been weighed upon by the thought that a matter of this kind [i.e. error in respect of the Faith] is so grave and so dangerous that the Roman Pontiff,who is the representative upon earth of God and our God and Lord Jesus Christ, who holds the fullness of power over peoples and kingdoms, who may judge all and be judged by none in this world, may nonetheless be contradicted if he be found to have deviated from the Faith.”

    REPLY: How have they deviated from the Faith? Has any Church teachings been really been changed? Have any of the popes denied an important article of Faith?

    “Popes are judged – by the Church, of course, not by bloggers – based on their adherence to perennial teaching. Bloggers (or parishioners, theologians, etc.) however, are certainly within their rights to respectfully propose that something a pope has done seems incongruous with the perennial teaching of the Church.”

    REPLY: I’m not denying your right to question what the Church is doing…what I am against, is the selective adherence to Church Authority and the assault on it masquerading as Traditional Piety. I don’t necessarily include you in that, Steve…don’t think I do.

    “The idea that a man can hold himself to be “more Catholic than the pope” is only offensive when one considers the sanctity of the pope in question. There were a number of popes in the unfortunate history of the Church in comparsion to whom I’d bet a majority of people in this comment box were “more Catholic than” if one considers the public scandal and sin of some of the successors of St. Peter. This is simply something to keep in mind for the purposes of discussion here – popes are not infallible in all things or indefectable in their character, and to suggest otherwise is an error of its own kind.”

    REPLY: But they were still the Supreme Pontiff, and had all the authority invested by Christ himself….irregardless. The Holy Spirit guards the Church from wackos who may end up on the chair of St. Peter from doing too much damage, but I wouldn’t question their authority. Of course then the next question would be…did they alter any articles of Faith?

  • Marie

    I always appreciate a good defense of the long forgotten traditionalists of the Church and I thank you for a fine, well-articulated piece. I wonder though, how many of us heard our mothers and grandmothers say,

  • John

    The only time a conflict between the Pope and laity could legitimately arise would be on a matter of discipline, because although the Pope would never mislead the whole Church on a matter of dogma, or on a matter of morals, the Pope could be imprudent; the Pope could be cowardly. Because Popes are human. They have divine protection in a very limited sense, but humanly, they can fail, and I believe that Our Lord allowed St. Peter to fail on certain occasions in order to make this clear to us.

    You will remember that on the night Our Lord was arrested, and St. Peter was in the court of the high priest, and when he was asked whether he was the companion of Our Lord he said, “I know not the man.” Well that was not a very nice thing to say, but he was a human being and he was weak.

    Later on, in the Book of Galatians, you can read how a controversy arose among the early Christians as to whether someone who became a Christian had to accept the Jewish customs, such as their dietary regulations, which were very strict, as such was their practice of circumcision. The truth was, new Christians did not have to accept the Jewish customs, because Our Lord had freed us from the law of the Old Testament in those matters. But there were many Jewish Christians who wanted everyone to do it, and they put a lot of pressure on St. Peter. And St. Peter didn’t actually teach that these things had to be done, but on the other hand he didn’t resist this faction, which was called the Judaizing faction, and St. Paul, who wasn’t a Pope, felt that he had to publically rebuke St. Peter because of this. And you see what the Pope was doing, he wasn’t teaching anything wrong, but he was failing to uphold true teaching. And when such a case occurs it may be necessary to resist the Pope.

    And so one could argue that it was the duty of Pope Paul VI to resist the various factions coming out of the Vatican II council who tried to suggest a different form of Mass to him, because he was obligated to uphold true teaching, and you see what people like Doctor Deitrich Von Hildebrand and Bishop Lefevbre did was to resist the Pope, but the good Bishop went too far.

  • Bender

    It should be noted that the concept of and term “active participation” of the people was not first advanced by the evil Second Vatican Council, but by Pope Saint Pius X.

    Indeed, the whole idea of liturgical reform, i.e. revising the Mass, was launched by His Holiness Pius X, not by loony modernists bent on destroying the Mass. A major reason such reforms were necessary, he wrote in Tra le sollecitudini (1903), “so that the faithful may again take a more active part in the ecclesiastical offices, as was the case in ancient times.”

    Stated another way, long before Vatican II, it was St. Pius X himself who said that abuses and deficiencies had found their way into the Mass, that is, the very same Traditional Latin Mass that some are upholding as perfection itself. And one of the deficiences that needed correcting was that the faithful were not taking as active a part as they should have been, as they had in ancient times. Other deficiencies noted, as evidenced by the need to remind priests about the rules, was the alteration or inversion of words, the presence of musical bands at Mass, and allowing the liturgy to be secondary to the performance of music, not to mention the abuse of the music itself being bad.

    Wow! Had St. Pius entered a time machine and gone forward in time to attend a contemporary Mass in 1970 or 1980 or 1990 or 2008? No, although these things all describe abuses solely attributed to the derisively called “Novus Ordo” Mass, he was describing the Mass prior to 1903, i.e. the Traditional Latin Mass — priests not following the rubrics, lousy music, the Mass descending into little more than musical entertainment, and the people sitting there in mere passive observance of what was happening.

    This mythical perfect TLM that has been promoted is exactly that — a myth. There were problems too with the “old Mass.” Not in the Mass itself, of course, but in the offering and celebration of the Mass. Abolishing the current Ordinary Form, the Missal of 1970 (as revised), would not solve all the problems because it did not cause all the problems. The problems were in place long before Blessed Pope John called the Council into session.

  • Dan

    John wrote: The New Mass changed all of that. Gone were the tears and the incredible surging of warmth in my chest and the sound of Gregorian chant. They were replaced with the personalities of the people in the pews around me. I was painfully struck by the way certain people sang, so loud and forcefully. I was dismayed by the way others responded to the prayers led by the “presider” (also loud and forcefully). They were terrible distractions for me. I truly lost the sense of God when I attended the New Mass.

    John, first of all, I am very happy that you’ve come back home.

    I remember the Latin mass. I prayed along with the priest — silently, of course — using my Latin-on-the-left, English-on-the-right missal, and found the prayers and the masss drawing me closer to my Lord.

    Today, I attend the English mass. I pray along with the priest — silently, of course — having memorized the words, and find the prayers and the mass drawing me closer to my Lord.

    The people aroung me cough, sing poorly — or well — and are sometimes attentive and prayerful, other times not. Just like the people around me at the Latin masses of my youth. I am glad they’re there, wailing children included, and remember that, unlike the Protestants, it ain’t just Jesus ‘n’ me. It’s all of us that are His children, giving Him praise and worship.

    I remember the disinterest of many of the priests praying the Latin mass, just as there seems to be many priests today in the English mass who want to “get it over with.” (Fr. Leonard was the favorite priest among many at the parish of my youth ’cause he could “knock out” the Latin Sunday mass in 15 — FIFTEEN — minutes! I didn’t understand the appeal of this.)

    Fortunately, we have room for both Latin and vernacular in our Church and even more fortunately than that, we have a God who knows our hearts and loves us in spite of ourselves. Most importantly, the Real Presence does not depend upon Latin or English.

    God bless,
    Dan

  • Aharon

    I like the TLM on occassion and I also like the NO. Of course I don’t like badly celebrated masses whether they are TLM or NO. I don’t like hippy masses. I entered the Church in 1987 from Orthodox Judaism as a young man (24). Each form of the Mass has its good points and its bad in my opinion. An English Sung Mass celebrated well is just as beautiful as a latin Sung High Mass. If the mass had still been in Latin and the changes of Vatican II not occurred i doubt I would have ever become a Catholic. It would have seemed too alien to even consider. I support all those who love TLM as long as they are not those looney anti-semitic ones. For me it is one heart intention that matters- one could attend a perfect mass but if the mass is not a vehicle to personal encounter with God then it is all rather pointless for that person- just an excercise in aethestics.

  • David W.

    “This isn’t about bogeymen. It’s about popes taking upon themselves unprecedented liturgical actions,(ie., the implementation of an entirely new liturgy; communion in the hand, etc.) in what seems to be a pretty obvious violation of the Church’s tradition. Is this not subject to critique?”

    REPLY: I thought that Communion was taken in the hand in the Ancient Church…and that the so called New Liturgy was formulated as a “Renewal.” I know some traditionalists scoff at this, dismissing it as speculative at worst, and insipid at best. No doubt the implimentation of a Celibate Clergy was a big change, as well as eliminating reception under both species, et al…there was probably an uproar back then too. You may not like it, or think it was needed…but Unprecedented? No.

    “It’s an assumption on your part that I deny this. There are, amongst traditional Catholics, any number who think that the 1950s was a golden age of the Church. This is utter nonsense. If things weren’t already headed south, Vatican II and the Novus Ordo would NOT have accomplished the drastic results that they did, and people would not have so readily left the faith. I noted correlation, not causality. I think that the implementation of a new liturgy that was utterly alien on top of poor catechesis and major social trends that were counterintutive to faith all played a role in the exodus from the faith.”

    REPLY: This goes back to whether an unreformed Liturgy would have had any effect on reducing or stopping an Exodus…it would not have. The Downward Spiral as I said had begun long before…If anything, Vatican II and the Pauline Rite was an attempt to make the Laity responsible for their Faith, to know their Faith and to engage them more fully. Pay, Pray and Obey was no longer enough…and Blessed John XXIII knew this. Its effects are still debated.

    In short, Steve…I believe the Pauline Rite to be better than the TLM in some respects, while the TLM has its own virtues. I am an unapologetic Ultramontanist and Reformer of the Reform. I had deep reservations about the Motu Proprio, and I would not have implemented it. But the Holy Father knows more than I do, so I Obey…and defend his decision.

  • Tina in Ashburn

    Steve, a good article presenting well both sides.

    I’d like to see developed more examples of angry trad rage. Specifics. Generalizations work to a point.

    While I have suffered from immovable “trads” myself, I have attended the old Mass over many years, not everybody attending is always insufferable. These mean personalities do exist for sure.

    What I want to know is what exactly are we doing to appear insufferable? I don’t mean to start more comments on the benefits of the EF vs the OF. I wonder about how and why we affect others the way we do.

    I wonder what’s really involved in this situation? Too emotional? Too argumentative? Taking things personally? Or do both sides really not “hear” what the other is saying, and the real message is getting lost under these other details?

    To overcome our poor approach, suggest how to fix it.

    Also in another vein, my 88 year old mother remembers well the huge excitement over the upcoming Council and how well everyone accepted that the Church needed renewal. There definitely were recognized problems that needed to be addressed back in the 50s.

    [Hilary, Loved the story about Cardinal Dulles BTW]

  • Chironomo

    Several posts above have commented on the need for Traditionalists to “work together”. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but unless they are Traditionalists who all live in a particular area, there would seem to be little that can be done. As Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local”… and we might say as well that all liturgical reform is local as well. Just as the local work of politics requires support from the law made at a higher level, the work of liturgical reform certainly requires support and legislation from higher up. But any changes that are going to be made are going to have to be made at the parish level to have any real effect. What we need is not to work with other traditionalists exclusively, but to work with those in our parish in a way that will help the parish.

  • Dave Pawlak

    “It’s a tricky thing, that “Perennial Teaching”….No doubt many French Catholics cried foul when Pope Leo XIII accepted the French Republic, or made conciliatory overtures that defied Pope Piux IX’s positions…or when Pope Benedict XV quietly backed off from Pope Pius X’s policies. Or take the example of Pope Pius XII allowing the laity to make a peep at Mass…Oh the Horror! Or when he relaxed the Easter Triduum pieties. All Papal Perogatives…all a mixed bag, with mixed reactions.”

    You’d be surprised. Check out http://www.traditioninaction.org…they complain about almost everything…probably the sort of Rad Trads Mark was talking about…

  • Bender

    As stated before, I once was tradionalist-leaning. The trads had a friend and ally, or at least a potential friend and ally, in me. I too was hostile toward Vatican II, looking merely at before and after and looking at it as the cause of much strife.

    But the more I was and have been exposed to tradism, the more I have been repulsed and the more I see the great wisdom and necessity for calling the Council. Perhaps it could have been called earlier (I’ve read that Vatican I had intended to have a part two), but two world wars prevented such a thing. But whenever it was called, I see more and more how much it was needed — not to reinvent the Church or the Mass as both the progressives and trads erroneously claim — but to better position the Church and better present the faith so as to address all the various problems of the modern world. My admiration has grown for the brave Pope Paul VI, whom I knew in my youth as only some old guy in some far off country who we only saw for a few seconds on TV at Easter and Christmas time.

    Lesson learned — the Church and the Holy Spirit know better than I what is necessary and desirable.

  • David D.

    David W. wrote,

    “I am an unapologetic Ultramontanist and Reformer of the Reform. I had deep reservations about the Motu Proprio, and I would not have implemented it.”

    This is a funny thing for a soi disant Ultramontanist to say. Article 1 of Summorum Pontificum acknowledges that the 1962 missal was never abrogated, a fact known even to Pope JP II. Pope Benedict’s motu proprio merely permits what was impermissibly suppressed often by local ordinaries.

  • Andrea

    Thank you, Steve, for a decent explanation of why traditional-minded Catholics might feel embattled, embittered, and disenfranchised. It appalls me to hear them attacked, no quarter given, when so many other groups of people, even non-Catholic and non-Christian, are given red carpet treatment in my parish.

    I have great sympathy and tolerance when traditional Catholics express frustration and resentment, much as I have sympathy and tolerance for certain Native American grievances. If people have been shockingly, heart-breakingly stripped of their heritage and rituals they sure pull at my heart-strings. At the same time, I hope the more vicious manifestations of anger that I witness are helpful to myself, that I might build my resolve to grow only in virtue and never in resentment. If I had access to the traditional rite I would immerse myself in it, as its “odor of sanctity” intrigues and attracts me, with the additional draw that it is the rite of my ancestors.

    Somebody mentioned that the new music is like Gregorian Chant to them, and that some day the current Mass will be old, too. But it sounds like that’s a whole different issue from what Steve’s “traditionalists” hold dear. It’s not “old” that they miss… it’s the heritage itself. Some of them had their heritage pulled out from under their feet, and some have recently discovered that what WOULD have been their birthright was taken away a generation or two before they were born.

    As another earlier post pointed out, traditional doesn’t indicate the age of something; it indicates the fact that it was handed down. The Mass that these embattled Catholics experienced wasn’t a 1000 year old relic; it was a ritual action of praise handed down from St. Peter’s hand to St. Augustine’s hand to St. Anthony’s hand St. John Bosco’s hand to St. Pio’s hand, with interim hands completing the chain, to be sure. The newer rite was handed on, with ink still fresh, from a committee table to Pope Paul VI to my current parish priest. Even though there’s more at stake in the whole discussion, one fundamental difference exists simply in the fact of how the rite has been “handed on.”

    If my great grandmother bequeathed to me a hand-written poem that her great grandmother had lovingly inscribed, I would suffer a loss when that original poem was taken from my home and locked in a safe. My loss would be the same even if I was given a brand new poem, typed and illustrated, written by my aunts and uncles–and even if it used some phrases from my ever-so-great grandmother. And when I consider that, I am motivated even more to pray for our Church and in particular for those whose ancestral memory and sense of Catholic universality causes them to mourn a lost inheritance.

  • Andrea

    Bender wrote: the derisively called “Novus Ordo” Mass…

    It was Pope Paul VI who called it the “Novus Ordo” (Concistoro Segreto del Santo Padre Paolo VI per la Nomina di Venti Cardinali, Luned

  • Maureen Van Dusen

    Arturo Vasquez please no not link followers of Medjugorje with crazies. I go to the traditional Latin Mass almost every Sunday and on Thursday nights and meanwhile I have seen great fruits coming from people who have been to Medjugorje. Why do people always have to stereotype? That drives me crazy. 😎

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Ann wrote: Jeff: The current Mass will be 1,000 years old one day too!

    The Persian empire is well over 1000 years old, but it’s not around anymore. The “Gregorian Rite” is still around after over 1000 years. I don’t think the same can be said for the Ordinary Form of the Mass the way most Catholics (in the US, at least) experience it, because it seems to be subject to constant updating, lest a single element of it seem “too old”. That’s why (for those people) the traditional music must be replaced, the traditional language must be replaced, the vernacular translations must be updated and modernized, the definitions of the Mass updated and modernized (ridding it of those medieval fantasies), and the roles of the people involved updated and modernized (why should only men get to be priests?).

    Now, I don’t think the Church in Her wisdom intends for the Ordinary Form to be treated in such a way, but I can assure you that the Ordinary Form Mass I attended last Sunday (near Albany, NY) is NOT the Mass from 1969, nor 1975, nor 2002. It was a Mass of 2008, with a specially written opening prayer, specially written Eucharistic Prayer, omitted Creed, updated language (“His” => “God’s”), omitted prayers, changed language (“Happy are those who are called to his supper” => “Happy are we to come to his table”), and lamentable music. That’s not what the Church called for, EVER. In that parish near Albany, NY, the Mass as reformed in the 1960’s is being constantly — “organically”, you might even dare to say — reformed, apart from the mind of the Church. It’s horrific.

    I think a Eucharistic liturgy in the lineage of the Gregorian Rite will be around in 1000 years. I do not think the same of a Eucharistic liturgy in the lineage of the 1969 reform.

  • David W.

    “This is a funny thing for a soi disant Ultramontanist to say. Article 1 of Summorum Pontificum acknowledges that the 1962 missal was never abrogated, a fact known even to Pope JP II. Pope Benedict’s motu proprio merely permits what was impermissibly suppressed often by local ordinaries.”

    You misunderstand. My feelings about the Motu Proprio have to do with healing the rifts in the Church, not furthering them. If this blog is any indicator, the gulf between self styled Traditionalists and “everybody else” will only widen. The Motu Proprio goes beyond merely reinforcing the old rule…it liberalizes it. Now I know Traditionalists see this as a fantastic thing. The 62 Roman Missal occupies the top 5 of my own book shelf. Not everyone who voiced opposition or reservation about the MP did it because they are liberal heterodox dissenters. I don’t want to see there be a circumstance where there are TLM Parishes VS Pauline Parishes. Some may say “Bring It On!!” I am not one of those. If there are issues with the Pauline Rite, THAT is where the energy needs to be focused. The new English translation is a fantastic step in the right direction. I can only hope that the the Motu Proprio bears the fruit the Holy Father says it will. I trust in his wisdom and will shut my mouth on that front. But that is where I am coming from on that.

    To me, this is a matter of obedience. The Pauline Rite is the Ordinary Form AND the official Liturgy of the Church…PERIOD. The Pope has allowed the TLM in more settings…great, fine. But don’t pretend like your form or “sense of spirituality” is superior to the “poor souls” who attend the Pauline Parish down the road because they aren’t as “enlightened” as you. Such smug arrogance is not only in violation of Charity, but the opposite of what the Holy Father and the Magisterium has said on the matter. The difference between me and the radical Traditionalist is this (AND I AM NOT INCLUDING STEVE OR ANY PERSON OF MODERATE SENSE):

    When Rome makes a decision on Faith matters or Church issues, I OBEY…even if I don’t like it. I don’t take it upon myself to say Rome is “wrong”, I don’t write ridiculous diatribes online about the borderline heresies of the “Novus Ordo Church”…I don’t make snide comments equating every Pauline Mass with a Clown Mass and then by implication say that Catholics who attend Pauline Parishes are some how “less pious” or “less Catholic.” It is THESE sentiments I take issue with, these sentiments that get my goat. Now I’m not saying there is nothing wrong with Pauline practices either. The Old Pieties should have never fallen into disuse, and am all for renewal on many fronts. But there are limits, and there is a right way to things.

  • RG

    These are great comments, Steve.
    I much prefer the TLM to the Novus Ordo. But to be an angry traditionalist does not accomplish much. It is better to pray for those who give most of their faithful no choice but to attend the New Mass.
    I find Martin Mosebach

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Chironomo wrote: Several posts above have commented on the need for Traditionalists to “work together”. Perhaps I’m misunderstanding, but unless they are Traditionalists who all live in a particular area, there would seem to be little that can be done.

    Steve’s “work together” comment meant that those who adhere to the E.F. of Mass need to work together with those who adhere to the O.F. of Mass.

  • Steve Skojec

    David W. wrote: This debate is all about “Preference.” Those who “Prefer” the TLM or the Pauline Rite.

    David, I couldn’t disagree more. This isn’t a question of whether I prefer a Cabernet to a Merlot, or fiction over non-fiction. It is, again, about objectivity.

    We have two different liturgies. They each have objective characteristics. Can they be objectively evaluated or not? If they can, based on what dogmatic truth must we operate on the assumption that they are, insofar as they are valid, of equal efficacy to the faithful?

    Put another way – is there some inviolable truth that is being trampled upon when offering the opinion that one liturgy can, in fact, be superior to another?

    David W. wrote: It’s a tricky thing, that “Perennial Teaching”

    Sort of but not really. Where you can find a preponderance of concurring teaching by numerous popes throughout the centuries on a given topic, it’s a safe bet that’s what you should go with. Specific examples of prudential action are not in the same category.

    David W. wrote: How have they deviated from the Faith? Has any Church teachings been really been changed? Have any of the popes denied an important article of Faith?

    This is a pertinent question, and it is at the heart of this debate. Is the liturgy an article of faith? If it can change substantively (rather than evolve as doctrine does) it must not be, therefore a pope cannot be inerrant when he teaches about it. If it is an article of faith, then it should not be subject to substantive change, and the answer to your question could be “yes”, depending on the theological arguments that can be made about the changes to the liturgy in 1970.

    Either way, we can say that liturgy exists as an expression of faith, and at the very least, should therefore be more seriously safeguarded against substantive change. This caution was not in evidence in 1970.

  • Steve Skojec

    David W. wrote: I thought that Communion was taken in the hand in the Ancient Church…and that the so called New Liturgy was formulated as a “Renewal.”

    Communion in the hand WAS an ancient practice that was done away with because of loss of reverence and potential for abuse. It was not revived out of some insight into the greater theological significance of the more ancient practice, but because some European Catholics were doing it anyway – it was a bona fide abuse, which Paul VI tried to contain by granting a limited indult. Once permission was given to one group, however, the practice spread, and the cat was out of the bag. It is still not considered the normative practice by the Vatican, hence the pope’s recent move to revive the reformed method of reception.

    As for the new liturgy, however it was formulated, what we got was not renewal but something made from whole cloth. Hence the many criticisms such as:

    “I am convinced that the crisis in the Church that we are experiencing is to a large extent due to the disintegration of the liturgy.” – Card. Ratzinger

    “Subsequent changes were more radical than those intended by Pope John and the bishops who passed the decree on liturgy. His sermon at the end of the first session shows that Pope John did not suspect what was being planned by the liturgical experts.” – Cardinal Heenan

    “It would be false to identify this liturgical renewal with the reform of rites decided on by Vatican II. This reform goes back much further and goes forward far beyond the conciliar prescriptions. The liturgy is a permanent workshop.” – Fr. Joseph Gelineau

    “One statement we can make with certainty is that the new Ordo of the Mass that has now emerged would not have been endorsed by the majority of the Council Fathers.” – Msgr. Klaus Gamber

    “The traditional Roman rite, more than one thousand years old, has been destroyed.” – Msgr. Klaus Gamber

    and of course, already cited:

    “If we consider the innovations implied or taken for granted which may of course be evaluated in different ways, the Novus Ordo represents, both as a whole and in its details, a striking departure from the Catholic theology of the Mass as it was formulated in Session XXII of the Council of Trent.” – Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani

    (thanks are owed to the late Michael Davies for compiling some of these quotes)

  • Steve Skojec

    David W. wrote: This goes back to whether an unreformed Liturgy would have had any effect on reducing or stopping an Exodus…it would not have. The Downward Spiral as I said had begun long before…If anything, Vatican II and the Pauline Rite was an attempt to make the Laity responsible for their Faith, to know their Faith and to engage them more fully. Pay, Pray and Obey was no longer enough…and Blessed John XXIII knew this. Its effects are still debated.

    In short, Steve…I believe the Pauline Rite to be better than the TLM in some respects, while the TLM has its own virtues. I am an unapologetic Ultramontanist and Reformer of the Reform. I had deep reservations about the Motu Proprio, and I would not have implemented it. But the Holy Father knows more than I do, so I Obey…and defend his decision.

    And with this, we are squarely back in the realm of opinion. You are speculating on what would have happened, but the fact is that you don’t know what people would have done, or what Bl. Pope John knew.

    There is nothing un-Catholic about suggesting that what was tried and true was better than what was fabricated and implemented, provided, again, the arguments are based on a sound comparison of the theology involved in both liturgies. I continue to be mystified by the presumed egalitarianism between the two Roman rites. In fact, it is entirely irregular that they both exist in stasis. The reason that they do is that the old was too sacred to retire, and rather than reform it nominally, as Vatican II called for, the liturgical experts crafted something novel. This left the old rite unreformed while a new rite was implemented that was unproven and lacked the gradual development that had solidified into the old. Since both could not, it seemed, co-exist, the old was suppressed, in a way that Pope Benedict has now told us was illicit.

    He has been left to reconcile this irregular situation, where the normative liturgy is the one of less history and arguably of less theological substance, and the older, irrevocable rite exists as it was, still awaiting the reform that even Bishops like Lefebvre knew that it needed.

    It should be further noted that there would be no reason to place these rites in juxtaposition in order that they might exert a “gravitational pull” on each other if the pope were content with the current state of either of them.

    It’s a fine mess indeed.

  • Bender

    [quote=Andrea]It was Pope Paul VI who called it the “Novus Ordo” (Concistoro Segreto del Santo Padre Paolo VI per la Nomina di Venti Cardinali, Luned

  • Bender

    Maureen wrote: I have seen great fruits coming from people who have been to Medjugorje. Why do people always have to stereotype?

    It should be noted that the Church’s response to Medjugorje has ranged from caution to outright rejection. Indeed, the bishop for Medjugorje, Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, Bosnia-Herzegovina, has called on those promoting the alleged visions to cease doing so, and that Catholics were forbidden from making pilgrimages to Medjugorje if by such visits “they presuppose the authenticity of the apparitions or if by undertaking them attempt to certify these apparitions.”
    Source – catholicnews.com

  • Jeff Culbreath

    “Are they being reverent when they call it the NO Mass, or does that not drip with contempt?”

    When I used the term I am being neither reverent nor derisive – just descriptive. What term do you prefer?

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Steve Skojec wrote: We have two different liturgies. They each have objective characteristics. Can they be objectively evaluated or not? If they can, based on what dogmatic truth must we operate on the assumption that they are, insofar as they are valid, of equal efficacy to the faithful?

    One example, brought to my attention by the Jacob Michael of “Lumen Gentleman”, concerns the complete absence of the word “soul” (anima) in the LATIN texts of November 2, as well as the content of the prayers used.

    I’ll clarify this later today (when I get home) with the actual texts in question.

  • Robert Mosby

    Contrary to Jeff P above, as it turns out, both “spiritus” and “anima” occur a number of times in the 1962 Roman Missal. Both are routinely translated as “spirit” though with slight nuance.

  • Phil

    When I was a Protestant, I was accustomed to attending worship services filled with clapping, cheering, hand-raising, video screens, “praise band”, etc. I can assure you that such a modern style of worship did NOT draw me to the Catholic Church. What drew me to the Catholic Church was Truth, aided by an atmosphere of reverence (with statues and religious art not having been removed by “innovators”), and centered around Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist. (is that what some “progressives” like about the Novus Ordo…that it looks and feels and sounds more like a Protestant service??? If so, that is a rather disturbing thought)

    All the parishes in my diocese are Novus Ordo. As of yet, there is no TLM offered anywhere in our diocese (despite promises to the contrary made many months ago). And, if there was a parish that offered the TLM in our diocese I would go there in a heartbeat because no Novus Ordo Mass I have ever been to comes close to the Tridentine Latin Mass in terms of reverence, beauty, grandeur, and evoking a sense of the sacred.

    However, I attend a parish in our diocese that conducts the Novus Ordo in a very reverent, beautiful way. No bongos or tambourines or guitars…just a pipe organ. No priest that acts like he’s trying to be a game show host. No pew-hopping free for all during the Sign of Peace. And, the statues, religious art, and even the altar rail are all still intact in the 150-year-old church. I can pray without someone trying to jar me out of it. No one aggressively grabs my hand during the Our Father (like has happened at some other parishes). Mass there is a wonderful, beautiful, sacred experience because the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and the Eucharist take center stage and nothing detracts from it.

    So, I have the heart of a traditional Catholic in the midst of what is, in my mind, an inferior Mass. Valid, but inferior. I can live with that while I wait prayerfully for the TLM to come to town.

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Robert Mosby wrote: Contrary to Jeff P above, as it turns out, both “spiritus” and “anima” occur a number of times in the 1962 Roman Missal.

    I wasn’t clear; I meant the omission is found in the 1969 (and 2002) Roman Missal.

    I’m putting together my “report”. I’ll link to it when done.

  • Chris C.

    What many of you are forgetting to mention is the purpose of Mass itself. Mass if first and foremost a prayer, the most sublime prayer a person prays here on earth. After you die, there will be no more masses, because you, hopefully, will see “face to face.” But, for now, Mass is the conduit through which a person experiences the Divine (oh, yeah, I know, I know some Saints have experienced it otherwise, but for most of us….) So, Mass IS the conduit through which we experience the most Divine Experience we will experience on earth.

    Now, various religions teach strange methods of experiencing the “divine,” but for the Catholic there are only two ways: Exterior prayer to God through the Mass or public prayer, and personal prayer to God (also experienced in the Mass.)

    The Traditional Latin Mass is a superior prayer because it Honors God above all, with Priest and People facing Christ Crucified together, and not with a Priest “performing,” in front of them.

    It is also superior in this way: The TLM is the Unbloody Sacrifice of Christ. The Priest ascends the three steps to the ALTAR (YES, ALTAR), to pray the Sacrifice. The three steps represent Faith, Hope, and Charity. The Jews had channels to draw the blood of the animal sacrifices out of the temple, but God left us Himself as the final, and ultimate Sacrifice. But SACRIFICE IT IS. At Mass, we need to Worship God as the Sacrificial Victim. This is the great divide between pre-and-post Vatican II worship. Paul VI modeled the New Mass on the protestant worship service, at Paul VI himself revealed to a philosopher friend. The Traditional Catholic worship, according to Martin Luther, was a “damnable heresy.” But we are not Lutherans. We as Catholics need to reorganize ourselves, and acknowledge the Mass for what it REALLY IS: the UNBLOODY SACRIFICE OF CHRIST HIMSELF.

  • Maggie

    I kind of wonder why the more traditionalist people did not try the Eastern Catholic Churches where there remains much in the way of beautiful tradition and Orthodoxy.

  • Victoria Ruby

    Thanks Steve for your beautiful article and for being honest about your past anger. I converted in ’79 after a smorgasborge of protestant ideals. It was about 5 yrs. later before I even heard of Vatican II. All that time, I thought I was in the original. Now, after much self-study, I must refer everyone involved with 3-truths. 1. Gen 3:15 “I will put enmity between thee and the woman….” 2. Mt. 16:18 “…thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” 3. The TLM was approved and instituted as the Mass of all times to be forever adherred to at the time of the protestant reformation. Those Churches who had followed a different rite consistently for 200 yrs, were not mandated to change to the Latin Mass. This was not the attitude with change to N.O. Even though it is nice to participate in ones’ native language, it will be ‘great’ when the proposed changes take effect — bringing back correct language and prayers.

  • Augustine

    The NO is indeed a relativist’s dream, isn’t it Todd?

  • Dan

    Chris C. wrote: The Traditional Latin Mass is a superior prayer because it Honors God above all, with Priest and People facing Christ Crucified together, and not with a Priest “performing,” in front of them.

    It is also superior in this way: The TLM is the Unbloody Sacrifice of Christ. . . We as Catholics need to reorganize ourselves, and acknowledge the Mass for what it REALLY IS: the UNBLOODY SACRIFICE OF CHRIST HIMSELF.

    Chris,

    You make very good points about what the Mass really is and about prayer. A lot more people need to become aware of what you are saying in this regard. I would say an equal percentage of people attending the Latin Mass of my youth were just as clueless. However, I have never thought of the priest in the NO as “performing” for the people in the pews; perhaps I’m naive, but I haven’t witnessed this in my 50+ years in the Church. I have always thought that he was acting “in the person of Christ,” offering the unbloody sacrifice to the Father.

    What I do know is that we avail ourselves of the joy and deep intimacy of our Lord in the Eucharist, whether in TLM or the NO. And thanks be to God, He comes to us in spite of our shortcomings.

    God bless,
    Dan

  • Jeff Pinyan

    If you click the globe icon for this post, you will go to a blog posting I’ve just finished. It compares the texts of the Extraordinary Form with those of the Ordinary Form for the three Masses said on All Souls day (November 2).

    The English translations of the E.F. texts come from my 1961 St. Joseph Daily Missal; the Latin texts of the O.F. come from the 2002 Missale Romanum, and the English translations are my own.

    I have not yet included the preface for the Eucharistic Prayer… I might later.

  • J.D. Carriere

    Bender wrote: More slaps in the face of the Church.

    …Vatican II and the 1970 Missal were not the cause of the problems, they were responses to the problems. Indeed, it was because of the spiritual and educational weaknesses of the pre-Vatican II Catholic that so many of those same Catholics bolted. Had the TLM and Baltimore Catechism truly made Catholic soldiers for Christ, then absolutely positively nothing could ever dislodge them from the citadel of the Church

    This idea gets recycled to death, but does anybody ever think about it first? The reasoning, such as it is, seems to go “The old Mass must not have been great, or things couldn’t have fallen apart so quickly”.

    Well, the whole Garden-of-Eden thing fell apart pretty quick too. Does that mean God made a lousy garden?

  • sav3367

    dad29 wrote: Hmmmnnnn.

    I am most skeptical of ‘post hoc/propter hoc’ arguments–those which (in general) claim that the Novus Ordo caused the reduction in Mass attendance and reception of Sacraments, etc., etc. I’ve even heard voiced the argument that the Novus is also related to upticks in divorce, deliberately childless marriages, abortion…you name it.

    In general, I tend to think that the wealth of the West caused these problems in far greater proportion than the Novus Ordo; and that the “wealth effect” began to take hold in the ’60’s, at the same time as the Novus was introduced (more or less.)

    The 60’s and the Novus Ordo (and Vatican II) happening about the same time is NO COINCIDENCE. Fewer validly ordained priests and thus fewer True Catholic Masses (Traditional Latin Masses) mean less grace in the world and more sin.

  • Felix

    sure, a lot of traditional Catholics see the liturgy as the centre of their spiritual life

    but not all do, and I’m one of them. My conversion was helped by the fact that I came across actual Thomists, who explained that a thorough going commitment to rationality is compatible with faith

    it made an impression on this philosophy/math student. But I was angered by the vast bulk of progressives, who were impervious to discussion on how they were departing from the Church’s traditional teachings on faith, morals and everything else

    so I became a trad. It meant that (long before our current Holy Father) I insisted on reading and evaluating modern utterances in the light of traditional teaching

    and, for me, the traditional Latin Mass is the outward and visible manifestation of this “hermeneutic of continuity”

  • Primus

    to Mark Shea and letting his “points” drive the discussion? What I cannot understand is this drive to legitimate Mark Shea as a serious thinker. He was obviously trying to get a reaction and we all made him more than happy in this regard. His opinion, and that’s all it is, is not based on a serious study of the issues vis-a-vis the NO and the TLM. He hasn’t studied the prayers or read any of the scholarship on the issue. So why is his opinion taken as anything more than anyone else who has a soapbox?

    The proper reaction would have silence.

  • Mary E. Komarowski

    Good article! How many people know that the Latin Mass has
    never been forbidden. As fas as I know, you do not need
    permission to say it. Unfortunately, many Churchs say the new
    Mass.

  • William

    Good article. The only flaw I think is that the author tends to indict himself and fellow “traditionalists” for feelings of anger a little too much. There is as much “anger” and hostility, and probably much more, within the ranks of neo-Catholic liberals and radicals as there is on the part of orthodox Catholics. They have brooked no dissent from their mission to “update” Catholicism. They immediately marginalize anyone who disagrees with them. They engage in half-baked psychoanalysis of anyone who does, bestowing such names “angry,” “mean-spirited,” “maladjusted,” “superstitious,” etc. It’s a game of sorts, which they were winning for a long time.

    But the evidence now speaks for itself. The “spirit” of Vatican II has been a total calamity for the Church; vocations have plummeted, church attendance is way down, the generation below 45 is virtually lost to the Church, etc. The people who fomented the unjustified changes to the liturgy, the experimentation, the de-emphasis on Penance and Reconciliation, the secular approach to Christianity, have a lot to answer for.

  • Kathleen

    I am responding to the concerns regarding the loss of Catholic faithful in this last century.
    I was taught the Baltimore Catechism in grade school, the only time I looked over at the altar close up was when I went up to communion to kneel, but it would only be a second’s peep as the priest was soon there. So being female, I saw so little of the altar, just pictures in religious books. The priest faced the altar, I experienced the sacred at Mass, would stop by at the mission church to pray on my way home to from school. I had some abusive nuns and classmates, and the pastor at the mission church had them come up to his church to rebuke them for their treatment of us. I really drew on stories regarding the saints and when recess came, would still be reflecting and try to live it out on the playground to little avail.
    One day the pastor came out before Mass and was making a platform on the altar. Later he faced us saying Mass and I had no reaction at all to that gesture. The changes made no impact on my faith.
    But what did were the great changes happening in our society — the Beatles and the drugs, the sex revolution, the Vietnam War, the Manson murders, the psychedelic music, the animal house campus parties, the complete breakdown of our country’s moral fiber, respect and honor for parents and those holding civil authority. It was like there was this vacuum trying to suck you into this new life. Attending a secular college, my girlfriend and I would walk across town at night to pray in the Catholic Church. I doubted my faith, but to cover my base, went to Mass every Sunday, and my parents called me every weekend all through my college years. I lived briefly with some roommates who had a picture of Pope Paul VI saying ‘The Pill Is a No-No’. What followed in the seventies was the free sex, even practiced by married couples. I think the Church’s stand on contraception combined with the world question of Why does God allow such suffering, made people abandon God and His love, and turned to their own way of thinking and happiness. I don’t believe it was the liturgy itself, unless there was breaks in a licit Mass.
    For me, there just wasn’t enough catechesis and admonition warning us of what was facing us. What also kept me on the straight and narrow were little pieces from the Baltimore Catechism as to what were the capital sins.
    The Mass must always hold us accountable to live the Gospel, to carry our cross and to extend our faith into the world. I go to a church that is traditional, the preaching is excellent, and the fullness of Catholic doctrine is upheld. We have the Latin Mass. My former parish is now restoring the traditional ambient of the sacred. But what is happening is that people close up in themselves, and are becoming less open to one another so that the parish ends up becoming cold and standoffish, people afraid to shake one another’s hands, criticizing one detail after another with limited liturgical education. In the vernacular Mass, there is more community, but I see the danger of just fitting into one’s contemporary environment and not becoming salt of the earth. So, it goes back to the leadership of our priesthood that the Mass and the Eucharist is not only the summit of our faith, but we must come back down to every day life to live our Catholic faith with community and no compromise to the world.

  • Creeny

    We should not apologize for righteous indignation…wouldn’t one be very angry if their spouse were gang raped (or attacked etc.)? There are times to be angry. Jesus got angry and sarcastic. So didn’t the apostles. The Holy, Catholic Church, Holy Mother Church, has been attacked by Modern errors. We should be angry…or do we want Christ to judge us as one of the Laodecians(lukewarm?

  • Dan

    Kathleen,

    Well said — all the way around!

    God bless,
    Dan

  • John

    The new mass, as our Holy Father has stated was a fabrication, not organic in any way. Why be disgruntled? That is quite easy. For the past 40 years we have seen JPII especially worship with Hindu’s, Buddhists, Jews, Protestants, and proudly proclaimed that ecumenism is the cornerstone of his pontificate. These ceremonies he participated at bordered on heresy and even the 1st commandment with idols being placed where our Lord and tabernacle once stood. Never once have I seen a picture of these faiths in a Catholic church worshipping our Lord. So what was the reason for this?

    But the “church” has been very quick to ban anything that was pre-vatican II, even the “Mass” they are allowing now is the John XXIII version and not that from pre 1962. What are they running from? Their disdain for what we once were makes me and my family and friends scratch their head. Conspiracy? Take over from within? We dont know but it is very wierd, like they belive the church started in 1962-1965 and the mass from 1970 is the only mass

    For me and others, we only sit and wait and watch, as Our Lord made it very clear that the saved would be few, and the church has gone through periods like this. With a new mass, code of canon law, new catechism, new customs, new translations of the bible-all in just 40 years, is this the same Catholic church we knew growing up or is this a new religion?

    This is only for God to answer, till then I will follow with what the church always taught and how God was to be worshipped, with the TLM

    God bless you all

  • Brian

    I was born in 1972. I’ve been blessed to be in good parishes that never had the excesses that I hear about in these types of articles.

    I am glad for those that love the TLM that it is more available to them. I would never want those parishes and individuals that want it to be denied.

    I’ve gone to the TLM twice in the last few years. I have to say, FOR ME, I felt like I left Mass not having worshipped God…. not having fulfilled my Sunday obligation. It’s so ironic, because that’s how many who prefer the TLM describe their feeling after going to a Novus Ordo.

    I tried to participate, but I had NO idea what was happening except for the times that maybe it lined up a little with the NO Mass. I could recognize Agnus Dei. I think I listened for “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”, but never heard it.
    I wished I had some way to follow along, with the Latin/English next to each other.
    Most of the time, I couldn’t hear the priest, since he didn’t use a microphone…. so it wouldn’t have mattered if it was in English or Latin.

    Both are valid Masses. Both have the presence of the Infinite – the Almighty…. so how can you compare infinity to infinity? It comes down to preference, it seems.

    Both those of us who prefer NO and those who prefer TLM need humility. I wish I could find the mystery, beauty, reverence, worship in BOTH equally – to the maximum degree that the Saints who loved attending the old Mass and the Saints who loved attending the new Mass, so that it wouldn’t matter which one I was at.

    The fact that I do prefer the NO to the TLM, tells me that I’m missing something in both. I’m missing Christ. I pray for more faith.

  • Vivian

    Brian

    I only discovered the TLM 6 years ago

    It took me a good year to understand it, but let me ask you something-Is salvation and the worship of God supposed to be easy?

    A Traditional friend of mine made it clear for me, when she said if the church now has made it so easy for all to supposedly be saved-what does that mean? Would you not take the more difficult path and if one does fall slightly-then at least you are where the “new church” is today

    Reading through the 16 documents of Vatican II-one can easily surmise from this council that the church has changed her stance from the Council of Florence from that only Catholics can be saved to those that even deny Jesus can be saved as well and are to be accepted. They caved into the modern world, you read one paragraph of V2 and say, hey, that sounds like I was taught, then the next paragraph and the council fathers are encouraging a Protestant to be a good protestant, a Buddhist, a Moslem to be revered, whatever. It is confusing and makes no sense, as the Apostles met martyrs deaths rather than compromise our Lords teachings

    All I can say is that nothing worthwhile is easy. If going to a mass in English with a guitar strummin nun at the front of the parish with everybody raising their hands to the “Our Father” with “ministers” handing our Lord over to someone in shorts, tank tops and flip flops in their hands is someone’s cup of tea and feel that is true “worship”,then so be it

    But if you truly believe in the Real presence-would you stand there shaking hands with Jesus (receiving in your hands from a layperson who feels the need to “participate”) or get on your knees as he is presented to you? Just one of the difficulties you need to figure out

    God bless you

  • Jeff Pinyan

    John wrote: But the “church” has been very quick to ban anything that was pre-vatican II, even the “Mass” they are allowing now is the John XXIII version and not that from pre 1962. What are they running from?

    What is the problem with the Missal of 1962? Clearly you find it counterfeit, since you call it a “Mass” with quotes. In what year was the Missal you prefer published?

  • Jeff Pinyan

    Vivian wrote: Reading through the 16 documents of Vatican II – one can easily surmise from this council that the church has changed her stance from the Council of Florence from that only Catholics can be saved to those that even deny Jesus can be saved as well and are to be accepted. They caved into the modern world, you read one paragraph of V2 and say, hey, that sounds like I was taught, then the next paragraph and the council fathers are encouraging a Protestant to be a good protestant…

    How does the Council of Florence (and Unam Sanctam, for that matter) reconcile with the statements of Popes Pius IX, X, and XII? Pope Pius IX spoke of invincible ignorance in at least two encyclicals, Pope Pius X’s catechism described those who are joined to the Soul of the Church but not Her Body, and Pope Pius XII spoke of both of those concepts in Mystici Corporis Christi.

  • Jeff

    Jeff Pinyan wrote: How does the Council of Florence (and Unam Sanctam, for that matter) reconcile with the statements of Popes Pius IX, X, and XII?

    I’ll add that I think Vatican II’s teaching on salvation, which is often stretched out of proportion (either by people reading it without its historical and tradition context, or by people trying to condemn the Council outright), does not go beyond the bounds of the statements of those Popes I mentioned.

    There is some very difficult content in Nostra Aetate, but that document merely describes the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions, and never says anything about them being salvific. Poor translations of the Latin text can lead to further confusion.

  • Baron Korf

    There are several things that were thrown out that didn’t have to be that were lovely tools. Recently I was introduced to using an altar rail for communion. I have no idea why people got rid of this. For one it looks much more dignified, but I also found it more relaxing.

    I knelt and was able to stare into the sanctuary and reflect while I waited for the priest to make his way over from the other communicants. I heard the choir chanting in the background and could smell the incense as I looked upon our Savior’s image on the cross above the altar, I could reflect on the tabernacle where He remains as the Prisoner of Love, and then when the priest came by I could easily recieve on the tongue (there are a lot of short priests here and it is difficult to recieve on the tongue when you are half-a-head or more taller than the person). There was no immediate rush to leave so he could go to the next person so I could reflect a while longer before returning to my pew. Honestly, I don’t see what the problem people would have with this, and with an intinction set the faithful can recieve under both species faster than the current line-up fashion.

    As a side note this experience was not at a Extraordinary Form mass, but an Ordinary one. Its a church about 30 miles away from where I live, but a friend recommended I come. The priest at my parish intends to put an altar rail in once the current building project is finished, but he has put one in the chapel he remodeled so its nice.

  • RichR

    I used to be more into the movement to try and reform the reform. A friend of mine and I started a men’s Gregorian chant group (which is still going 5 years later), I became the supervisor of the altar servers, I went to liturgy committee meetings, I talked to people, I tried to encourage more traditional modes of worship……and it has been a very slow road with little support by the bureaucrats in the parishes.

    After researching liturgy for 10 years now, I have come to the conclusion that a great remedy for the collapse of liturgy has been exactly what our Holy Father decided to do: encourage exposure to the Traditional Latin Mass. People will see, firsthand, the redeeming aspects of traditional worship (and the aspects that needed reform) and you won’t have to say a word. All the silliness you see nowadays will be self-evident. All the the dialogs about recovery of lost heritage are meaningless without real exposure to the beauty, transcendence, and timelessness of traditional worship. P

    The problem is that this process will take decades (maybe even centuries) to unfold. So, in the meantime, I am anxiously hoping for a TLM in our area because I have grown tired of being upbeat and positive about how music, art, vestments, etc….. could be more inspiring, more reverent, and more connected with generations past. People only know what they have personally experienced, and therefore, they think that the New Mass is all there is. It’s hard to try to reform something on the local level when people don’t see value in it – even if the Council, the Pope, and the Bishops in union with Him all called for these things.

  • Brian

    Vivian,
    Thanks for your reply.
    In my defense, I never said I was looking for something easy. In fact, in an odd way, it felt too easy. It felt like I hadn’t “fulfilled my obligation” or done my duty I owe to God. I can’t say that my experience of Mass at the NO parish I attend with my wife and 3 kids is easy. If I wanted easy, I’d still be Protestant.
    Also, I’ve never been to a Mass quite like you describe above. Although I do sometimes receive in the hands, sometimes on the tongue. I’m currently reading a book by Fr. Benedict Groeschel about the Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration. He was writing about early evidence that indeed Christians have always believed in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist, not writing about how to receive Communion, but one particular quote stood out to me from St. Cyril:

    “When thou goest to receive communion go not with thy wrists extended, nor with thy fingers separated, but placing thy left hand as a throne for thy right, which is to receive so great a King, and in the hollow of the palm receive the body of Christ, saying, Amen.”

    I just found this website with interesting history on the subject, basically saying both Traditionalists who insist receiving on the tongue was universal, and libs who try to claim the opposite are wrong.
    http://matt1618.freeyellow.com/communion.html

    One difference, it seems, of the old practice of receiving in the hands was that unlike today, when most cup their hands, then take their bottom hand and lift the host to their mouth… in the ancient practice, the hands were left in the shape of a cross, and the Eucharist was brought to your mouth in such a way that symbolized Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. As if you were eating Christ’s flesh right from the cross. “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood…” John 6.

    That is very powerful imagery. I’m glad I stumbled across it.

    I also looked up the Vat II doc on Protestants. I couldn’t find anywhere that they say Protestants should just be good Protestants. On the contrary, the document repeatedly speaks of re-unification. It also says that Catholic doctrine must not be watered down for the sake of a false ecumenism.

    NOWHERE does any Vatican II doc say that you can deny Christ and still be saved. This is important. To say that Holy Mother Church teaches something that it doesn’t can lead others into error. It does say that we don’t know “for sure” what happens to those who’ve never heard of Christ. You may think this is too fine of a point on it, but that is different than saying that those who deny Christ can be saved. I’m sure I could find Vatican II docs which state that if you deny Christ, you are damned.

    Contrary to popular opinion, the documents do not contradict “There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church”.
    You may not see who some of those Vat. II docs. square with that, but it’s the same type of nuance that is applied to the Church’s teaching that you must be baptized to be saved. Yet, the Church accounts for the Thief on the Cross, a Baptism of Blood, and Baptism of Desire. Those are pre-Vat II doctrines, so I assume you accept those.

    The closest it comes to what you describe in your post is that it says the Church esteems the Muslims, in the document on non-Christian religions. However, the Church now and at Vatican II still calls all people to come into full communion with the Catholic Church.

  • Brian

    One more thing about my experience at the TLM I wrote on above. Although I prefer the NO, the Latin hymn choir at the TLM was amazing! The choir itself wasn’t what made it great, but the Latin hymns they sang. Very worshipful and beautiful.

  • Glenn

    Honestly, I wonder which “form” of the Mass Jesus Himself prefers. I am not jesting…I am really serious.
    Perhaps He will (or already has?) spoken about this to some mystic/saint, just like He has spoken to Margaret Mary Alocoque about the love of His Sacred Heart, or to St. Faustina about His Divine Mercy.

    Surely the Mass is as important as these, if not more so? Is it not You up there on the altar? What do YOU say Jesus? That is what I would like to know….

  • Judy Kallmeyer

    I cherished the Eucharistic Celebration of my youth, the Tridentine Mass. I cherish even more the Eucharistic Celebration of my advancing years. If people wish to return to the Tridentine Mass, may they find peace in it. I prefer our present ritual. I feel that I am more personally involved in worship; in hearing the Word of God; in the awesome mystery of the Eucharist, that of bread and wine becoming the true Body and Blood of our Divine Lord Jesus the Christ. That is the true mystery of the Mass and that has not changed with the changes in the rituals nor will it if the rituals change again. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever. The Eucharist is the same, yesterday, today and forever. May the Heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

  • Phil

    Maggie wrote:

    “I kind of wonder why the more traditionalist people did not try the Eastern Catholic Churches where there remains much in the way of beautiful tradition and Orthodoxy.”

    Maggie, that is an excellent point. I am very much interested in learning more about the Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church. Those who say that the Latin Tridentine Mass is the only valid Mass are doing a real disservice to the many non-Latin Rite Catholics out there whose Masses are most decidedly valid and, as you mentioned, quite beautiful and very Orthodox.

    At the same time, I also have to wonder something else: Why don’t the dissenting “progressives” join the Episcopal church, or the Unitarian church for that matter? After all, the post Vatican II “reformers” forcibly moved the Church away from Tradition…so why is it that the traditionalists are the ones that are supposed to change? Why don’t the progressives leave the Church alone and go where they’re more at home instead of trying to destroy Holy Mother Church?

  • Mary O

    Steve, first of all,thanks for your post – it helps to increase light, while lowering heat.

    I want to talk about this idea that the Church or the people in the Church were somehow already “rotten” or bad in some way and that’s why everything fell apart after Vatican II; the idea being that if it were not so, folks would never have left the Church. This argument has some weight to it because it is partially correct. Yes, we were weak Catholics before Vatican II. We are weak Catholics now, we have been weak Catholics since Pentecost, and we will be weak Catholics until Jesus comes again. Something about our fallen nature. That being the case, when there is a wholesale upheaval and weak Catholics become worse Catholics, it is never the answer to say “Well, the rot was there to begin with..” The rot is always there – that’s why we need the sacraments. And if the form in which we recieve the sacraments changes drastically and we go downhill, it is fair to suggest that the change in form was not helpful and also, perhaps, that we should, as much as possible, revert to the form which seemed to better strengthen our innate weakness.

    There is a principle in the law called “stare decisis” which holds that there is a harm caused by changing the law. This is because people obey the law partially out of habit and custom, in addition to penalties. Ergo, the law should not be changed unless the admitted harm caused by the change, is outweighed by the harm of the law remaining the same. This prinicple is even more relevant in sphere of religion, where the penalties are not immediately felt and people “obey” out of custom. Knowing, the innate weakness of our nature, change should be incremental, gradual, and, ideally, barely perceptable. That is why I would never suggest a mandatory return to the TLM. I would not do to current Catholics what was done to me and my generation.

  • John

    Please,lets all be real about the contradiction in the Vatican II documents, this line about “poor translation” is just plain hogwash

    The Council of Florence made this infallible statement which can never be expunged:”The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)

    Ecumenism is in direct conflict with scripture, as is a Pope, the Vicar of Christ, worshiping “God” in a Mosque

    The saints and Popes of the ages past died rather than surrender their faith.
    Colossians 1:18 states, “And he is the head of the body, the church.” In order to belong to this body of which Christ is the head, we must be of one body, believing the same things. For as a head cannot have multiple bodies, so we cannot differ in beliefs yet belong to the same head.

    Heresy is to doubt or deny a particular truth of the faith, or perhaps some truths of the faith, while Apostasy, on the other hand, is to completely reject the Christian faith.

    So you have a Pope in JPII who do not adhere to any of the articles of faith which they profess to believe. An ecumenist is someone who believes that all religions contain a certain measure of the truth, some more, some less, and that they all therefore have a certain value. All religions, for the ecumenist, are true religions.

    Gaudium et Spes, teaches that Christ united himself in some way with every man because of His Incarnation:

    Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him [Christ], has been raised in us to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man. (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)

    Therefore every man, inasmuch as he is united to the Word by virtue of His Incarnation only, is a member of the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ is nothing else than the whole human race without any exception. Thus the goal of Vatican II is to make religious differences disappear, and make the divine order

  • William

    I think the American bishops and clergy have a lot of reputation-building to do after all they have put us through; the negligent supervision of perverted priests, the infiltration of vast numbers of active homosexuals into the priesthood, the attacks on parents of children abused by priests. The list goes on. When they have rebuilt their reputation, maybe normal Catholics will start coming back to church again.

  • Jeff Pinyan

    John wrote: Ecumenism is in direct conflict with scripture, as is a Pope, the Vicar of Christ, worshiping “God” in a Mosque

    That’s using a crappy definition of “ecumenism”, one that is not found in the documents of Vatican II.

    John wrote: An ecumenist is someone who believes that all religions contain a certain measure of the truth, some more, some less, and that they all therefore have a certain value. All religions, for the ecumenist, are true religions.

    I don’t see how you can make that leap from “all (and I wouldn’t say ‘all’) religions have some true elements” to “all religions are true religions”. The Church has not taught that.

    John wrote: Gaudium et Spes, teaches that Christ united himself in some way with every man because of His Incarnation: “Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him [Christ], has been raised in us to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)

    Therefore every man, inasmuch as he is united to the Word by virtue of His Incarnation only, is a member of the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ is nothing else than the whole human race without any exception.

    Another ridiculous conclusion. First, that Christ has united himself with mankind (and each man individually) says nothing to the reciprocal, that mankind has united itself to Christ or that each man has done so. Second, this “certain way” in which Christ united himself to each of us is not defined as being sufficient for salvation nor for membership in the Church.

    True Catholic ecumenism, as has been outlined in several documents (including Unitatis Redintegratio, Ut Unum Sint, Communionis Notio, and the 2007 Responsa ad Quaestiones), is aimed at restoring the original unity of all who claim the name of “Christian”: One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, comprised of the local churches in communion with the Roman Pontiff, with a shared (and valid!) Eucharistic sacrifice.

    True Catholic ecumenical dialogue is not content with recognizing our differences and moving on. True Catholic ecumenical dialogue isn’t just dialogue! It’s action that seeks to re-unite our separated brothers and sisters in Christ with the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church of Christ: the Catholic Church, united under the See of Peter.

    Anything else would be uncivilized.

  • Bender

    Vivien wrote: Is salvation and the worship of God supposed to be easy?

    Is salvation easy?

    Nothing you will ever do will result in your salvation. NOTHING. It is not within your power. You cannot earn your way into heaven, you cannot worship your way into heaven.

    The only way and the only thing that we do that can help get us to heaven is to love Jesus as He loves us — ALL of us, including those who love the Mass that the universal Church celebrates every day, the so-called “new Mass” that you folks show so much distain for — and by loving Him and our fellow Catholics in communion with Him, including those on the left that we hold in such contempt, we thereby and only in that way accept the grace of salvation that He offers us. Only His love, the love that He has for those you want nothing to do with, is what gets one into heaven.

    Continuing on and on and on and on and on about how much the Church sucks, like you folks do, is not the way to express such love.

    I must say that this entire discussion with the likes of you folks has been thoroughly distasteful and sad. You know, you should have friends on this site. After all, this is not NCR or Commonweal or America. This is a fairly conservative site. But I dare say that you have done little but alienate those potential friends with your outright hate — yes, hate — for the Church as She really is, not as you might mythically reconstruct Her. Any support demonstrated here is merely from your own cheering section, without winning over any new adherents to your quasi-political, intensely ideological, hyper-legalistic, neo-Gnostic, hubristic, neo-Judaic Law, hyper-ritualistic, neo-Pharisaic, cause.

    Well, it cannot be said that other, wiser, and more humble people have not tried to dissuade you from your opprobrious conduct and view of the Catholic Church. True, some of us have been less than fully charitable in response, but it is clear now that even our attempts at head-bashing will not get through.

    And so, instead of continuing this thoroughly unpleasant exercise, I will instead shake the dust off my feet and take my leave.

  • Joe

    This is perhaps the most level-headed and rational discussion of this topic that I have seen. I would only like to add one small observations based on the original article: “was not abrogated” is not the same as “could not be abrogated.”

  • JC

    “This left the old rite unreformed while a new rite was implemented that was unproven and lacked the gradual development that had solidified into the old”
    I hesitate to fan any flames, but I was skimming this discussion, which I’ve been too busy to look at previously, and this comment by Steve struck me.

    The way I see it, and the way I read Cardinal Ratzinger, is that the problem is that there are essentially *three* Rites:

    1. The 1962 Missal of many names.
    2. The “Novus Ordo” in practice
    3. What Vatican II actually described.

    THe real problem was a lot of “experimentation” on both sides after the Council; a lot of Indults being granted in both directions.

    The same thing happened with the Council of Trent, which stretched through several Popes. In the past 2 centuries before Trent, a lot of liturgical innovations had popped up throughout different parts of Europe. Trent attempted to clarify things by examining the liturgy and setting new norms.

    For a brief time, even more confusion erupted. So St. Pius V issued _Quo Primum_ to settle the debate (BTW, my reading of _Quo Primum_ is that the Mass is what Rome says it is, and that when Rome promulgates a Missal, Catholics listen). Many Orders that had their own special liturgies, even allowable under _Quo Primum_, abandoned those liturgies in favor of the Tridentine Missal, just as the Orders that retained their special liturgies after Trent would abandon them with Vatican II.

    Something similar is at work here. Vatican II revised the Missal. There were some significant changes. On the one hand, they seemed drastic, but, on the other hand, the Church had never gone this long without revising the Missal as between Trent and Vatican II.

    However, people on both ends overreacted. Progressives said, “this is just the tip of the iceberg ! Let’s have a Counter-Counter-Reformation!” They started doing things like receiving Communion by the hand and *then* asking Rome for indults to use these local adaptations. Meanwhile, traditional-leaning Catholics overreacted to the Council, especially given what the Progressives were doing, and started begging for indults to use the old Missal almost as soon as the new Missal was promulgated.

    Meanwhile, hardly anyone made any real effort at performing the liturgy of Vatican II the way Vatican II described. The whole idea of “the Reform of the Reform” is to go back and make things the way Vatican II wanted them to be, given the 20/20 hindsight of 40 years of experimentation.

    So, in short, I don’t know whether we can legitimately say that the “new rite” was even implemented.

  • Mar

    And the winners are:

    “After researching liturgy for 10 years now, I have come to the conclusion that a great remedy for the collapse of liturgy has been exactly what our Holy Father decided to do: encourage exposure to the Traditional Latin Mass. People will see, firsthand, the redeeming aspects of traditional worship (and the aspects that needed reform) and you won’t have to say a word. All the silliness you see nowadays will be self-evident. All the the dialogs about recovery of lost heritage are meaningless without real exposure to the beauty, transcendence, and timelessness of traditional worship.”
    Written by RichR

    “Well, the whole Garden-of-Eden thing fell apart pretty quick too. Does that mean God made a lousy garden?”
    Written by J.D. Carriere

    “What I cannot understand is this drive to legitimate Mark Shea as a serious thinker. He was obviously trying to get a reaction and we all made him more than happy in this regard. His opinion, and that’s all it is, is not based on a serious study of the issues vis-a-vis the NO and the TLM. He hasn’t studied the prayers or read any of the scholarship on the issue. So why is his opinion taken as anything more than anyone else who has a soapbox?
    The proper reaction would have silence.”
    Written by Primus

  • Phil Steinacker

    Bender,

    You pass judgment on others so fiercely one wonders if you

  • Frank

    Can someone please explain to me,as I see the name that only makes me laugh, how Mark Shea and even Jimmy Akin, how they somehow became the voice for Catholics? It seems all they seem to care about is donations, which I brought to his attention and he deleted my post and banned me for a month as I called him a pharisie, but getting banned was a good thing

    And then Jimmy Akin posts nothing that has to do with the problems of the church, and appears more interested in aliens and money

    With respect to the “charity”-why is it that the so called left wing of the church always claim that traditionalists are so uncharitable, when it is they who have thrown us out of the church and wont even allow a TLM but will allow every other possible denomination time. When was the last time we saw a Pope perform a Traditional Mass,but I can see picture after picture of Pope Paul VI, JPII and even B16 worshipping with every possible schismatic and worse yet, those that deny Christ!

    Are they jealous that we actually worship like they once did??

  • Dylan

    Thank God there is room in the Church for both of these Forms, which each have their merits and their weaknesses! Those of us who prefer the Traditional Form and those who prefer the New Form can, if we wish, coexist for the glory of Christ and His Church. But both “sides” really must be open to hear the merits of each and stop marginalizing each other. This is a great opportunity for Christians to show heroic charity to one another.

  • Mike

    “The same thing happened with the Council of Trent, which stretched through several Popes. In the past 2 centuries before Trent, a lot of liturgical innovations had popped up throughout different parts of Europe. Trent attempted to clarify things by examining the liturgy and setting new norms.

    For a brief time, even more confusion erupted. So St. Pius V issued _Quo Primum_ to settle the debate (BTW, my reading of _Quo Primum_ is that the Mass is what Rome says it is, and that when Rome promulgates a Missal, Catholics listen). Many Orders that had their own special liturgies, even allowable under _Quo Primum_, abandoned those liturgies in favor of the Tridentine Missal, just as the Orders that retained their special liturgies after Trent would abandon them with Vatican II.”

    I am not sure whwere you got this info from but the TLM was almost identical to the Gregorion Mass and somtimes still goes by that name. All that Trent and Quo Primum did was codify what already exited.

    “Something similar is at work here. Vatican II revised the Missal.”

    VII SC did not revise any Missal.

    “Meanwhile, hardly anyone made any real effort at performing the liturgy of Vatican II the way Vatican II described. The whole idea of “the Reform of the Reform” is to go back and make things the way Vatican II wanted them to be, given the 20/20 hindsight of 40 years of experimentation.”

    I Think this is also an incorrect assessment. VII SC was speaking of changes to the TLM. What we got after the Council was not an attempt to carry out the Councils wishes but a nightmare crafted by a commitee of 9 people headed by Archbishop Bugnini and including 6 Protestants and it can’t be fixed.

  • Mike

    “The only way and the only thing that we do that can help get us to heaven is to love Jesus as He loves us — ALL of us, including those who love the Mass that the universal Church celebrates every day, the so-called “new Mass” that you folks show so much distain for — and by loving Him and our fellow Catholics in communion with Him, including those on the left that we hold in such contempt, we thereby and only in that way accept the grace of salvation that He offers us. Only His love, the love that He has for those you want nothing to do with, is what gets one into heaven.”

    Is this what they teach you at your NO Parish because it seems to be at odds with what the Church teaches! In fact it is quite Protestant! Only through the Sacraments do we receive Sanctifying Grace which is what is required to get to Heaven. I forgot, that is pre VII because it comes from the Baltimore Catechism so you are probably not familiar with that.

  • John

    Please lets be real, if you really want to take the time and understand the organic development of the Mass pre v2, read Adrian Fortescue’s “The Mass” written before V2 in 1912, before these issues were ever around. The reading for those who do not know Greek or Latin is difficult, but with up to (4) different rites all over the Catholic world, and with the Reformation playing havoc with the mass, what Pius V and Trent did was go BACK to an older form of the Roman rite, before tampering took place and make it the standard

    Lets not try and actually compare what Pius did with what John XXIII and his counterpart Bugnini did, in water the mass down to make it more appealing to the Protestants, the same group St Pope Pius V was trying to defend our form of worship against

    Know your history

  • Newly Ordained Priest

    The main problem, as I see it, from those who argue for the Missal of Bl. John XXIII is that they do so from the perspective of the Missal of Paul VI being celebrated incorrectly. If we are going to have this discussion about the New Mass v. Old Mass (not good terms, I know, but will do here), then we need to argue on the basis of what S.C. actually said and how that Liturgy looks. Often the ‘traditionalists’ argument is based on the New Mass being celebrated incorrectly

  • Vivian

    Father

    I can only guess you have not read the multiple options you have with respect to the consecration in the new mass. We all know as catholics that a mass is not a mass without a true sacrifice. Are we sure that Bugnini and his co-horts got all of those translations correctly? For a sacrament to be valid one must have correct form and matter, not to mention the priests intention. In seminary, I recall we were required to challenge whether or not this is truly Christ, as we were taught to be more like our Protestant Bretheren, who by the way can now receive our Lord when attending our Mass at least under Eucharistic Hospitality in the back of that little missalette which is so lame when one looks at its content as compared to the mass of 1945 which I celebrate as compared to that of John XXIII, before all of the tampering started

    So again this has nothing to do with preference Father, it has to do with the possibility that the mass of Paul VI is invalid, with so many options available to you as compared to the Traditional Mass, why would we take the chance?

    And further-it is reverence Father, we want to worship God, not eachother. I know the new mass is easier for you, you dont even have to know Latin anymore (can you imagine a Rabbi not knowing Hebrew, an Orthodox priest Greek and so on?), but you find that all fine and dandy

    God bless you Father, as this will never go away, as this onswell has only gotten stronger over these past 40 years as we are becoming more educated with the Internet and books available to us. We saw the altar and kneelers ripped out and we were told not to question. But now we question as we DEMAND reverence for the sacrament and reverence, and if you wont give it to us, we will go as far as we have to, so called schismatic or whatever you call it, but we call it plain old CATHOLIC

  • John

    Vivian

    I agree with you, as it has nothing to do with the new mass being celebrated correctly, or V2 being implemented correctly, that is all a coverup for something that just does not smell Catholic

    I noticed you said you were in the seminary-but I guess you are a woman and are talking about your spouse? I have heard likewise here in New York from “Orthodox” Priests here at the seminary on Long Island that the formation directors and rectors encourage the seminarians to challenge the validity of the eucharist, and many dont even belive it is the true body of Christ.

  • Frank

    John

    My apologies, Vivian is my wife and I did not take her name off of the typepad as she posted earlier or on another blog I suppose

    The above was my post

    Last I checked she was/is a woman!

    Yours in Christ

  • Mike

    Father,

    “the New Mass being celebrated incorrectly

  • Newly Ordained Priest

    The responses that I received were almost exactly what I expected, after reading so much on this topic I think I could have penned the comments by Vivian/Frank John and Mike myself. To go back to my earlier point which Vivian/Frank completely bypassed (it seems Vivian/Frank may be a married priest celebrating the TLM, is that correct, if so that is a new one even for me), where do you see in S.C. that we worship one another, as you said?

  • Mike

    Father,

    “where do you see in S.C. that we worship one another, as you said?”

    Apparently you didn’t read my post.

    Sacrosanctum concilium has nothing to do with the NOM therefore you will not see that we worship one another nor will you see it in the General Instructions for the NOM.

    Again, in Sacramental Theology The Rite should signify what the Sacrament is and does. The NOM clearly does not do that but it does give a sign of “that we worship one another”.

  • Mike

    Father,

    “The responses that I received were almost exactly what I expected, after reading so much on this topic I think I could have penned the comments by Vivian/Frank John and Mike”

    It is quite easy to make a post like that but If what we posted is incorrect please refute it. I am always in the learning mode. These posting should be a learning tool and not for venting!

  • Pauli

    Well said, mate.

  • Primus

    what you don’t seem to understand is that the plethora of rites in the age before Trent all treated God with dignity and as the end of worship. Unlike the NO, which distorted the prayers which it adapted from the 1962 Missal and made modernistic, the rites that were in force before Trent did not make themselves “amenable” to the interests and foci of the men of their time. They were timeless and spoke to the eternal concerns of humanity.

  • Dave N.

    I stopped by this site to find out whatever had happened to Deal Hudson post-scandal–and here we are! Reading through these posts makes me all the more certain that the Catholic Church is not the place for me.

  • Jon_in_Charlotte

    Firstly, I’d like to state that I’m no theologian, however, I am a Catholic revert who, I believe, consciously works towards developing his faith.

    In 1884 Pope Leo XIII has a remarkable vision where he hears a conversation between Satan and God.

    Satan: “I can destroy your Church.”

    Our Lord: “You can? Then go ahead and do so.”

    Satan: “To do so, I need more time and more power.”

    Our Lord: “How much time? How much power?

    Satan: “75 to 100 years, and a greater power over those
    who will give themselves over to my service.”

    Our Lord: “You have the time, you will have the power.
    Do with them what you will.”

    Immediately after his vision Pope Leo penned the prayer to St. Micheal. The prayer was created to help defend us against Satan. Pope Leo instructed that the prayer be said after every low mass.

    75 years after Satan’s declaration to destroy the Church, in 1959, Pope John XXIII publicly summons the Second Vatican Council.

    The resulting effect of Vatican II was change, in particular to the liturgy of the Mass.

    One of the first changes to come from Vatican II, was the deletion of the Leonine Prayers which included the prayer to St. Michael. These prayers were eliminated in 1964.

    The fourth message (unapproved) of Garabandal (1961-1965) given on June 18th 1965. Since it pained Our Lady so much it was given instead by St Michael the Archangel:

    “… Many cardinals, many bishops, and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. …”

    “The Body of Christ must not be touched by anyone other than a
    consecrated priest. No other person has the right to touch it,
    except in case of extreme necessity.” St. Thomas Aquinas

    It is well known that Communion in the hand began spreading during the early nineteen-sixties, in Catholic circles in Holland. The practice grew in popularity in the late sixties and became the common practice among American Catholics by the 1980s.

    “Wherever I go in the whole world, the thing that makes me the saddest is watching people receive Communion in the hand.” Mother Theresa

  • Jon_in_Charlotte

    Granted, in my above post I’m just using snippets of information to showcase a point, but, I trust in the feasibility of suggesting a theory that Satan could have effectively destroyed a large faction of the Catholic church by altering the Mass, essentially attack from within. By altering the Mass he then affects the graces received by communicants. By affecting the graces he affects the relationship between man and God. In essence the poisoning of the Church.

    Rule number one in Satanism is that Satan is about indulgence rather than abstinence. Essentially, that it is about self serving. This attitude is the opposite of practice of self denial embraced through Christianity.

    With this understanding then consider some of the notable aspects of the Mass that have been altered. Are these changes to better serve our Lord or ourselves?

    I recognized that the suggestion that Satan has somehow infiltrated the Church (maybe through the pride of certain intellects) and thus done damage to the Mass which has altered the graces received by communicants sounds like a wild conspiracy theory, however, I still find logic in the argument

  • Frank

    Father

    With all due respect, did you not read my post in #130 of the thread? I had mistakenly posted with my wife’s name still left in the typepad

    She is my WIFE-I am not a married priest, or are you now advocating that as well?

    Please father, this is exactly the problem the church has today, as the crisis is actually for the first time from WITHIN-the liberal clergy and many laity as well as from the Outside, as compared to the past when we had strong Popes, Cardinals and Bishops and unwavering clear, concise teachings as compared to today’s wishy washy interpret as you like Catechism, code of canon law and encyclicals

    God bless us with another St Pope Pius X!

  • Newly Ordained, again

    Frank – this is the very lengthy sentence that made me think you may be a married priest celebrating the TLM:

    In seminary, I recall we were required to challenge whether or not this is truly Christ, as we were taught to be more like our Protestant Bretheren, who by the way can now receive our Lord when attending our Mass at least under Eucharistic Hospitality in the back of that little missalette which is so lame when one looks at its content as compared to the mass of 1945 which I celebrate as compared to that of John XXIII, before all of the tampering started

    You begin with

  • Frank

    Again Father, while I used the word “celebrate”, I guess I need to be more clear. I guess I used the word because I “celebrate” how beautiful and untainted the mass of 1945 is without the hands of the modernists and those with a Protestant Ecumenical agenda, including the mass of 1962, which the Vatican allows as a morsel of food for those who are liken to being on a desert and thrown a bit of food or nourishment for their soul, and because it is “named” after a post Vatican II pope who started this mess in the first place, and is a suspected Mason as is Bugnini the Architect, they allow it as for some reason those like yourself know or are taught nothing in seminary pre 1962 because if you did, you would hopefully (obviously?) see the clear contradiction with past Catholic teaching

    As a father of 2 children and responsible for their souls, it is my responsibility to provide them with the best defenses against the evils of the modern world, which if I recall scripture the evil one tempted our Lord with on the desert, and the traditional teachings including Baltimore Catechism, 1917 Code of Canon Law and a weekly dose of the Traditional Latin Mass far serves them better than the wishy washy garbage that is being sold off as Catholic today and I would rather be the one to be denied salvation than not provide my children with the true sacraments and teachings to ward off the evils of this modern world

    Maybe someday you will see that but I guess not

    God Pray for our church

  • CatholicCredidimus

    Widespread heresy in the Catholic Church is the problem, not new liturgy or old liturgy. Large numbers of Catholics stopped going to Mass after the Vatican II Council not because of the New Mass, but because the New Theology taught that one could be saved equally well in all church denominations, all religions, or even no religion at all, provided that you are sincere in your beliefs, and because the New Theology basically eliminated concern about personal sin and the threat of eternal damnation in Hell. John Paul “the Great” was the most powerful exponent of this New Theology, but this New Theology does not come from God, but from the Evil One.

  • Joe

    Steve,

    Ive disagreed with some of your posts. This one I thought the best of the few Ive read. It does a pretty good job of bringing up some of the often forgotten points regarding the Tridentine Mass and the period surrounding and since Vatican II.

    However, it is a “Protestant” style post in that it speaks to and through “feelings”. Feelings are important. But, like the saying regarding how one prays affecting their Faith, the points one brings to a discussion frame the discussion and affect where the discussion ends. This is one of the great, and grave, issues facing the Catholic Church today. So much of what is said is simply immature, emotion laden, and emotion directed thought.

    Our Lord Jesus Christ, in all he said, how much was directed toward, concerned or incorporated emotion? Outside of suffering, very little.

    The single most prevalent example of this change, which again I consider a grave error, is St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. The well known “love is patient, love is kind, love is ….” Well that’s a modern translation. The Douay-Rheims, the ONLY bible declared by the Church to be infallible does not say “love” but rather “charity” is patient, charity is…”

    This distinction may seem irrelevant, or worse yet, a change for the better. I think neither.

    One speaks to our Faith in feelings. The other to our Faith as action.

    Likewise, and my point, I think you could bring much more of the Grace within you to others if you focused similarly.

  • Lionel Andrades

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011
    ASSISI INTERFAITH MEETING OCT.27: OLD PROBLEM AMONG TRADITIONALISTS SURFACE
    Day after tomorrow is the Assisi inter faith meeting and an old problem has surfaced among Catholic traditionalists i.e. the explicitly known implicit baptism of desire.

    The communities of Fr. Leonard Fenney, recognized by the Catholic Church, say there can be people saved with the baptism of desire which will be followed by their receiving the baptism of water. They would agree that these exceptional cases are known only to God. Since they are not known to us they do not contradict the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus.

    So when Fr. Leonard Feeney rejected the baptism of desire he was saying that there is no baptism of desire that we can know of as a possibility or a reality. So why mention it?!

    Those saved with the baptism of desire are not exceptions.There is no explicitly-known implicit baptism of desire.

    So for the communities of Fr. Leonard Feeney, the St. Benedict Centers, all the non Catholic participants at Assisi need to convert into the Catholic Church to avoid Hell. There are no exceptions. Since we do not know anyone among the participants who has the grace of the baptism of desire or is in invincible ignorance. We know that this is not the ordinary means of salvation. The ordinary means of salvation is Catholic Faith and the baptism of water. We know that no Magisterial text claim that these cases ( baptism of desire etc) are explicitly known to us. Instead the Catholic Church officially says that all the non Catholics gathering there are oriented to Hell. (Vatican Council II LG.14,Ag 7,Dominus Iesus 20, Catechism of the Catholic Church 845,846,Cantate Domino, Council of Florence etc).

    The problem now is with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), the Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) and their lay supporters. They consider those saved in invincible ignorance and the baptism of desire as exceptions to the dogma.Others say only those who ‘know’ about Jesus and the Church are oriented to Hell.Yet only Jesus can judge who knows and who is in invincible ignorance. Since we cannot judge why mention it. The dogma says every one.
    The liberals praise the SSPX and criticize Fr.Leonard Feeney.Catholics in general are confused on this issue and it lends itself to indifferentism and syncretism.

    Neither the pope, Cardinal William Levada or Bishops Fellay and Williamson want to comment on this issue.

    Are all the non Catholic participants at Assisi oriented to the fires of Hell if they do not convert into the Church, or are there exceptions among them with the baptism of desire etc?-Lionel Andrades

    SSPX CONSIDERS THOSE SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE AND WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE AS DE FACTO KNOWN TO US : DISCERNING LIBERALS MUST BE LAUGHING UP THEIR SLEEVE

    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/sspx-considers-those-saved-in_24.html

    SSPX CONSIDERS THOSE SAVED IN INVINCIBLE IGNORANCE AND WITH THE BAPTISM OF DESIRE AS EXCEPTIONS TO THE DOGMA EXTRA ECCLESIAM NULLA SALUS THIS IS HERESY
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/sspx-considers-those-saved-in.html
    http://eucharistandmission.blogspot.com/2011/10/assisi-interfaith-meeting-oct27-old.html

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