The Buffalo News is reporting that … you read it.
Emphases and comments are mine.
FOCUS: CATHOLIC CHURCH
Latin Mass could expand in Diocese of Buffalo
Major changes unlikelyfor most WNY Catholics
By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 08/16/07 9:43 AM
For most area Catholics, the Latin Mass either is a hazy memory or a footnote in church history. [The older form of Mass a "footnote"? Even for the less educated, I can’t think this is even remotely realistic.]
But next month, the ancient rite, set aside nearly 40 years ago in favor of a new, vastly different Mass, will be welcomed back in area churches — thanks to a recent apostolic letter from Pope Benedict XVI.
The letter is unlikely to change [This seems to be following The Party Line. I suspect this person was coached mostly be someone hostile to the older Mass.] the way most Catholics in the Diocese of Buffalo experience their liturgies. Still, traditionalists [The entry on people’s experiences demonstrates pretty well that the older Mass appeals to more than "traditionalists".] were thrilled by the July announcement.
“It’s lifted a stigma. It’s almost like being freed,” said Al Huntz, president of the local chapter of Una Voce, an international organization of Latin Mass promoters. “For a good many years there’s been a misconception that the Latin Mass and the people who attend were some kind of fringe group.”
Huntz and other local supporters of the ancient liturgy now hope that its restoration will persuade Bishop Edward U. Kmiec to grant them a parish of their own and in the process save a Buffalo church building that is slated for closure. [A formula that has worked in many places.]
Huntz figures at least 600 local families would be interested in a Latin Mass parish, including some who no longer attend a diocesan church.
“It’s an opportune time to do it,” he said.
Kmiec expressed doubts about how well a Latin Mass parish would integrate into the rest of the diocese, however.
“That has so many different ramifications,” he said.
A parish is “more than just saying Mass on Sundays,” he added. “I just wouldn’t want to say that this is a single focus of a parish.” [See Rule #4]
Besides, he added, the diocese already offers [Is this an echo of The Pary Line? "We’re already doing enough for these people!"] two Sunday Latin Masses, one at St. Anthony of Padua Church at 160 Court St. in downtown Buffalo and one at Our Lady Help of Christians Chapel at 4125 Union Road in Cheektowaga.
“I feel they’re being adequately served liturgically,” he said.
Latin didn’t disappear
The Latin Mass never totally disappeared. A dissident [Latin connected with dissent. Ironic.] prelate, Archbishop Marcel LeFebvre, founded the Society of St. Pius X, rejecting the new liturgy and continuing the use of the Latin Mass, gaining a worldwide following. [And shouldn’t that tell people something.]
The Society of St. Pius X provides priests for Latin Masses in Our Lady of the Rosary Chapel at 231 McKinley Parkway in South Buffalo.
And in 1988, Pope John Paul II, hoping to get LeFebvre’s followers to return, allowed for limited use of the Latin Mass [Two errors here. First, "the Latin Mass" is an incorrect term. Second, the provisions of the 1988 Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei adflicta did not say "limited", but rather "generous".] in dioceses by permission of the bishops, leading to the two old liturgies offered locally.
With Pope Benedict XVI’s decree, priests trained in the old rite will be able to freely celebrate it, and parishes can specifically request it. [No. People can request it for their parishes.]
The pope’s decision appeared to be another nod toward traditionalist Catholics, who argue that the church went astray following the many changes ushered in by the Second Vatican Council, including the new liturgy. [This is tendentious.]
Also in July, Benedict declared that other Christian communities were “defective” or not churches at all, drawing criticism from some Protestants who viewed his statement as anti-ecumenical. [Okay, I think we have this reporter’s view,… and that of his coach.]
But Kmiec said the pope’s recent statements weren’t a rolling back of the liberalizing reforms of Vatican II, a fear expressed by some Catholics.
“I don’t think so at all, absolutely not,” he said.
The restoration of the Latin Mass is a simple “pastoral outreach” to Catholics who left the church for the LeFebvre group. [Another but very bad error that could have been avoided with 5 minutes more research.]
“He just wants another liturgical form,” said Kmiec. “It’s a generous, hopeful extension of a hand — welcome back.”
Members of the Society of St. Pius X say the pope’s apostolic letter was a start, but they still adamantly object to the ecumenical spirit of the Second Vatican Council and call for its repeal.
During a recent homily at the McKinley Parkway chapel, the Rev. Timothy Pfeiffer, prior of the Society of St. Pius X mission in Syracuse, which supplies priests to Buffalo, condemned Vatican II as being “built on sand.”
Afterward, he elaborated, saying that the council was “not a Catholic movement. The church can’t be ecumenical.”
Pfeiffer also suggested that the Latin Mass would have to become the normal form of the Mass again, instead of the new Mass, which is known as the Novus Ordo and dispensed with traditions such as kneeling at the altar to receive Communion in favor of a more communal celebration of the Last Supper.
“It’s not really possible to mix the Novus Ordo culture with the traditional Mass culture,” said Pfeiffer.
Considered obsolete by some Catholics, the Latin Mass is viewed as the ultimate form of worship by others.
“There’s nothing common about the Latin Mass. It is the best we have to offer to our Lord,” said Elena Greco, who regularly attends the Tridentine Mass in Cheektowaga. “The new Mass is to entertain the people. The traditional Mass is to worship our Lord.”
Brendan Young, born years after the change to the Novus Ordo, has been hooked on the Latin Mass since attending one as a young boy with his grandmother.
Now 17, he takes a special trip each Sunday to participate as an altar server at the traditional Mass in St. Anthony Church in Buffalo. The rest of his family attends the new Mass at their parish in Kenmore.
“It’s definitely more contemplative, more mystical, and I find it a better expression of the faith,” said Young, a senior at Kenmore West High School. “I’m very much at home with the Latin Mass.”
Some liked change
But for James Mudd, born and raised attending Masses in which the priest spoke in Latin with his back to the congregation, [sigh… how cliche] the church’s change to liturgies in English — with lay people participating as lectors, Eucharistic ministers and gift bearers — was a breath of fresh air.
“We were so happy when the Second Vatican Council opened the door to saying the Mass in the vernacular,” said the 79- year-old Lewiston resident.
The Latin Mass “just seems to separate the priest further from the people,” he said. “It is something out of our past. It would be nice to have it in a museum or something like that.”
The bishop doubts the new availability of the Latin Mass will attract large numbers of new people.
“I don’t think there’s a huge demand for this, that every parish will want it,” he said.
Support appears small [The Party Line again]
The Rev. David W. Bialkowski, one of a handful of area priests current in the Tridentine form, already conducted a survey in his parish, St. John Gualbert in Cheektowaga, to gauge interest.
So far, about 30 people said they would like a Latin Mass once a month or so — not enough to commit to doing it, Bialkowski said.
“I don’t think people are that used to it,” he said.
Bialkowski, who was ordained in 1988, didn’t grow up with the Latin Mass or learn how to celebrate it in the seminary, but he was drawn to it early in his priesthood.
“I enjoy all the reverence, the mystery it communicates,” he said. “It’s a very reverent, quiet type of liturgy. Maybe people whose spirituality is more reserved find it more meaningful.”
Sloppy research + tendentious writing = poorly crafted article