The Tablet on the Archpb. of Glasgow’s harsh provisions for the older Mass

The lefty English Catholic tabloid The Tablet has an article in the 25 August issue.  It is about the reaction to the Archbishop of Glasgow’s reaction to the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.  His Excellency Most Reverend Mario Conti’s had issued a harsh response, which we covered here

My emphases and comments.

Conti questions demand for Old Rite
Elena Curti
Hugh Farmer
In Glasgow

TRADITIONALISTS HAVE reacted with anger to a letter sent by the Archbishop of Glasgow setting out tough conditions [Hmm.. even The Tablet sees them as tough.] for the celebration of the Tridentine Rite.

Archbishop Mario Conti casts doubt on whether there is sufficient demand for the Old Rite to provide more than the one Mass he has already authorised in the archdiocese.

Like other Catholic bishops around the world, Archbishop Conti is required to implement Pope Benedict’s motu proprio which is designed to widen provision of the old Mass according to John XXIII’s 1962 missal for those Catholics who want it. The new regulations are to be implemented on 14 September.

But in his letter Archbishop Conti points out that the Pope is concerned that provision is made for “a stable group [bad translation of the Latin of the Motu Proprio.] of the faithful who adhere to the earlier liturgical rite”.

“I find it difficult to envisage that there are any ‘stable groups’ in our diocese who ‘adhere’ to the 1962 Missal,” he writes. Archbishop Conti lays down that there should be just one celebration in the Old Rite on Sundays and feast days and that it should never replace the New Rite or “ordinary form”.

Quoting the Pope’s letter to bishops on the motu proprio, Archbishop Conti reminds priests that the new norms do not lessen bishops’
 responsibility for liturgy. He expects to be consulted each time a priest wants to celebrate the Old Rite so that he can confirm the priest is suitably “qualified”.  [I wonder if His Excellency is checking up on the liturgical practices of priests celebrating with the Novus Ordo.]

The chairman of the traditionalist Una Voce Society said he was “dismayed at the archbishop’s negative attitude”. Alex Todd added
 that the letter contrasted with the statement made by the bishops of Scotland last month saying they intended to ensure the motu proprio’s provisions were fully available to those Catholics in Scotland who wanted the Old Rite.

Una Voce’s chaplain Mgr Hugh Boyle said that several “young” priests indicated an interest in learning the “extraordinary” form. Fr John Zuhlsdorf, a traditionalist American priest based in America, [Well... this is wrong is in two ways.  First, I am not a "traditionalist".  Second, have not been based in America for some years, though I am here now.] made public excerpts from Archbishop Conti’s letter on his blog describing them as “among the coldest, most hostile” he had read. [Still are, too.] A Catholic online discussion forum, Catholic Action UK, claimed that Archbishop Conti was attempting to frustrate the Pope’s intentions.

In response, Archbishop Conti’s office issued a statement saying his guidelines were not intended “in any way” to obstruct the Holy Father’s wishes. The archbishop explained that the intention of the motu proprio was to enable reconciliation for those who felt ostracised or marginalised, or had joined schismatic groups in response to the 1970 modernisation of the Mass. [This is simply WRONG.  The Motu Proprio, like John Paul II's in 1988, provides for anyone who is interested in the older form of Mass.  It is NOT limited or intended only for people in questionable unity with the Holy See.  If some person who is rather more attached ("the Archbishop's use of "adhere" is misleading.) to the newer form would desire to attend the older form on occasion, that would be sufficient.  All Catholics should be able to benefit from these provisions.  They should not be shoved into a ghetto.] “In this the Holy Father is seeking to restore unity within the Church. I do not have any evidence that the archdiocese is affected in this way,” he said. [Well... I think by this very move the Archdiocese is NOW affected, since those hard norms laid down for the archdiocese are probably even now causing people who have never been anything but loyal to the Holy See and the Archbishop to "feel ostracised or marginalised"!]

Folks, you don’t have to be a "traditionalist" to want the Motu Proprio to be seen with openness and generosity by bishops and priests.

I am not a "traditionalist", in the sense desiring to use only the older form of Mass.  I use both books, for the older and newer forms of Mass.  I was was not ordained for a book after all.  But I was ordained for the Latin Church, to use the Roman Rite!  In that sense I am "traditional".

I am expending a lot of energy on this issue of the Motu Proprio for a couple reasons.

First, I firmly believe that more celebrations of the older Mass will help correct the way the Novus Ordo is celebrated.

Second, the Motu Proprio is just one component, albeit an important one, in Pope Benedict’s larger vision of continuity and healing in all sectors of the Church’s life.  I think Pope Benedict is implementing a kind of "Marshal Plan" for the Church after the devastation we have experienced from a long dominant "hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture", as he described it in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia in 2005.  To my mind, every priest ought to back this document, and the other good provisions of the Holy See, and not hinder them. 

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26 Responses to The Tablet on the Archpb. of Glasgow’s harsh provisions for the older Mass

  1. Henry Edwards says:

    The current August-September issue of Inside the Vatican includes several excellent articles on the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. One of them by James Bogle is subtitled “A Comment from an English Catholic” and includes the following four (among its eleven) paragraphs:

    If the old rite was never abrogated, then it was wholly wrong for bishops and clergy to attempt to suppress its use in the dioceses and parishes. And yet that is what many did, and still do. Indeed, they often did so in the most offensive, abusive, reckless, oppressive and arrogant way, for which they have never apologized.

    It is strangely ironic that many of those who behaved so unjustly to those who preferred the traditional rites were also, often enough, the most ardent advocates of ecumenism. But how much ecumenism did they show to lovers of the traditional rites? They would bend over backwards to accommodate the most bizarre Protestant sect whilst roundly abusing and mocking their fellow Catholics who preferred the ancient rites.

    Faced with a clearly expressed desire to have access to the traditional rites that had been the proud boast of Roman rite Catholics for most of the Church’s history, some clergy and even bishops flatly refused and, sad to relate, in some cases did not even scruple to insult, even publicly, those of their flock who expressed such wishes.

    In light of the Pope’s decision and judgment, those clergy and bishops must now recognize that they misconducted themselves scandalously and should apologize for the gross offense they gave to their own people and to the unity of the Church as a whole.

    You say, Father Z, that every priest priest should back the motu proprio. Should not even moreso every bishop, especially those whose offenses against charity have been the worst?

  2. David says:

    I am somewhat perplexed. I know that His Grace celebrated the Traditional Mass in 2002 – one of the first times that this had been done in Scotland since the imposition of the 1970 missal. Yet his contempt for the traditional use seems manifest. I am confused.

  3. David says:

    His Grace’s line about “a mere hankering” for the way the Church used to be is proof of his contempt…yet he says the TLM himself?

  4. David says:

    Quote, from “Scotland on Sunday”:

    “The traditionalists won another battle yesterday SCOTTISH Catholics have turned to a dead language to try to breathe new life into the church.

    when Archbishop Mario Conti held a full Tridentine Latin mass at a church in Glasgow, the first time in 18 years it has been used in a mainstream service.
    The move delighted conservatives within the faith who believe the Latin rite is more inspiring and mysterious than the English version and should be introduced in churches across the country.

    But liberals were furious with Conti, claiming the use of Latin would alienate far more people from the church than it would attract. For centuries the Tridentine Latin rite was the only approved way of celebrating mass.

    But since the mid-1960s, when the Second Vatican Council gave approval for other languages to be used, the Latin version has been frowned upon by the majority of Catholics.

    Unlike the English mass in which a priest faces his congregation, the Latin mass sees the priest turn his back, leading them rather than joining them – a gesture that many find offensive.

    Cardinal Winning refused to conduct masses in Latin and was a staunch supporter of English services. And in 1984, Scotland’s catholic bishops banned the Latin rite from being used in regular church services, although it could still be performed in monasteries.
    The Pope later said individual bishops could still carry out the ceremony, but none had done so until yesterday.
    The service at St Mungo’s Church, in Townhead, was the first time in 30 years that a senior member of the Scottish Catholic Church has used the Latin mass.

    A spokesman for Conti denied the archbishop’s action was a deliberate attempt to court conservative Catholics.

    “The occasional celebration of the mass in Latin simply provides for the spiritual nourishment of those who appreciate the beauty of the Latin language and Gregorian Chant,” he said.

    “Catholics in Scotland already have access to a wide range of liturgies within the Roman Rite, from folk masses to English-language choral singing.”
    Conti performed the mass at the request of Una Voce, an organisation that represents traditional Catholics.

    Last night, Frederick Crichton-Stuart, the secretary of the group’s Scottish wing, said: “In the past we have felt the bishops in Scotland were not generous to us, but the archbishop’s decision to celebrate this mass makes us very happy. We find the full Latin rite is more reverential, inspiring and religious than the English mass.”

    Ronnie MacDonald, a member of the Catholic Truth group, a conservative organisation, said: “We very much hope this endorsement by Archbishop Conti will mean an increase in the number of Latin masses celebrated across Scotland.”

    MacDonald argued that the Latin mass had “centuries behind it” and said it was more “mysterious and solemn” than the English version. “You can be given a sheet which translates the mass as it happens so that you don’t miss anything if you don’t speak Latin, so it is easy to follow,” he argued.

    But liberal clerics have condemned the move. Father John Fitzsimmons, from Erskine in Renfrewshire, said: “The whole idea of the Second Vatican Council was to be more open in worship and this goes against that spirit. Latin is a dead , exclusive language and I would have thought it unwise for the Archbishop to get involved in this.”
    Professor Patrick Reilly, a prominent Catholic commentator and professor of literature emeritus at Glasgow University, also said he would be concerned if Conti’s participation led to an increase in the frequency of Latin masses.

    “The Second Vatican Council did a very healthy thing in stating that mass could be held in the vernacular, or indigenous languages and I would be very worried if the Latin mass became some kind of competitor to the English mass,” he said.

    “Occasional masses in Latin is fine but I don’t think the mass is appropriate to today nor should it be in wider use. “In the old days, people were expected to treat the priest as some kind of expert who would negotiate with God on your behalf, which is why the priest would have his back to the congregation.
    Reilly continued: “But the English mass did away with that idea and the priest and the congregation participate equally in the act of worship, so that people can have their own relationship with God.”

    Most people today have grown up with English masses and see them as traditional and customary and the Latin mass as something out of the ordinary.”

    Speaking before yesterday’s service, Father Paul Francis Spencer, the rector of St Mungo, said that although he understood Latin, he was more comfortable with English when saying mass. “We are delighted to be able to welcome Archbishop Conti to the parish, and interested in hearing the Latin rite mass,” he said.
    “Mass means the same to me in English or Latin but But he admitted: “I have to confess to feeling about the English mass as sometimes people feel about opera which has been translated from Italian or German into English. When you hear the English version it feels as though something is missing somehow.”
    Peter Kearney, a spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland, denied there was any concern among the upper echelons of the church Conti’s actions.
    Archbishop O’Brien, who is in charge of the Edinburgh archdiocese and has a reputation for being more a liberal voice than Conti, was unconcerned.

    “Scottish bishops in the conference are very relaxed about the concept of those Catholics who wish to hear mass in Latin being able to do so,” he said.

    He said O’Brien believed there was no chance that the occasional use of an old-style Latin mass would lead to the concept of a modern English mass being challenged as the main way for Catholics to worship.

    Kearney added: “English is going to remain the language for 99.99% of masses.”

    In the past, traditionalists’ love for the Latin Tridentine mass has seen them split from Rome rather than give it up.

    Conservatives followed French cleric Archbishop Marcel Lefevre who set up the Society of Pious the Tenth to keep the old rite going and was excommunicated by the Pope in 1988.”

  5. Henry: You say, Father Z, that every priest priest should back the motu proprio. Should not even moreso every bishop

    Bishops are priests, first and foremost.

  6. Mike in NC says:

    I am expending a lot of energy on this issue of the Motu Proprio for a couple reasons.

    First, I firmly believe that more celebrations of the older Mass will help correct the way the Novus Ordo is celebrated.

    Second, the Motu Proprio is just one component, albeit an important one, in Pope Benedict’s larger vision of continuity and healing in all sectors of the Church’s life.

    Assuming that the old form will have that affect, and that the m.p. is a part of such a plan, isn’t the next question ‘doesn’t the opposition from the Abp of Glasgow and others indicate that they are

    a) not interested in (or hostile to) the old form affecting the new, and

    b) not interested in (or hostile to) the Pope’s plan to heal the divisions in, and the injuries to, the Church?’

    There may well be other motives and influences involved in the decisions to promulgate such regulations, but these (a and b above) need to be considered.

  7. Mark says:

    I think Pope Benedict is implementing a kind of “Marshal Plan” for the Church after the devastation we have experienced from a long dominant “hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”, as he described it in his Christmas Address to the Roman Curia in 2005.

    Father, you’ve got it in one. I was thinking something similar, but couldn’t find the right words, but Marshall Plan is a great euphemism for it!

    David, yes, I think we’re all confused.

  8. boeciana says:

    It really is odd. I was present in 2004 (if I remember correctly – possibly 2003) when Abp Conti celebrated a new rite Mass in Latin facing east, in Aberdeen (his former diocese). Glasgow currently has a weekly (I think) indult Mass but also an SSPX chapel. Whyever is the Archbishop upping the stress levels, when being calm and friendly would (even from a mundane political perspective) surely be much more productive? Sorry, this isn’t a very constructive comment; but it just seems bizarre.

  9. Jim says:

    I got a ‘thanks for your letter’ reply to my letter

  10. Paul, South midlands Uk says:

    I think that this exposes the great fear of the heirachy. Most – apart from those with “1960s spirit infections” – are quite happy to facilitate a ghetto for those strange people who live in the past and its probably best to have them in their own little church where they wont annoy anyone.

    However the last thing they want is for ordinary catholics and priests to start taking an interest in this rite and become converted into traditionalists and suddenly start dressing in old fashioned suits and dresses down to their ankles, dress 3 year old children in victorian childrens clothes at mass (sailor suits, shirts and ties), homeschool them, throw out the television and generally behave like Catholic Amish.

    This would account for the current requirement that 1962 rite masses in the UK are not advertised – the great growth in attendance at 1962 masses of the last few years has happened despite a publicity ban (which will end on 14th September).

    The idea that ordinary catholics will quite happily attend both rites is beyond their comprehension in most cases, and those that do comprehend this fear it greatly, because inevitably people will notice the prayers ands rubrics of the old and look more critically at the new (which is of course the pontifical intention).

    I think they fear that a return to pre V2 spirituality will also bring a return of all the things that were wrong before the second vatican council, such as expecting the priest to do everything (liturgical and non liturgical) which they fear would somewhat increase their workload, along with an unquestioning acceptance of authority (something which enabled the abuse scandals to go on for much longer before the police were called than would be the case now)

    Its also of note that the 1962 mass is forbidden in Northern Ireland. The Glasgow area suffers from similar sectarianism to Northern Ireland so I wonder if an irrational fear that the 1962 rite will bring a pre 1962 view of ecumenism out of the woodwork with consequent sectarian problems is part of it.

    Either way, the decision a few years back to award the red hat to the bishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh (regarded as a Liberal in some quarters), which seemed very odd at the time, does not now seem so odd . This Glasgow letter does appear to suggest to me that the Archbishop seems IMHO to have an authoritiarian streak and needs our prayers.

    If nothing else, this Moto Proprio does seem to me to have brought out of the woodwork whether a bishops first concern is the spritual wellbeing of his priests and lay people or whether the primary concern is maintaining control of them.

  11. Bernard says:

    Paul,

    “the 1962 Mass is banned in Northern Ireland”

    How so?

  12. Bernard says:

    Forbidden or banned whatever; who can do this?

  13. Henry Edwards says:

    Paul: The idea that ordinary catholics will quite happily attend both rites is beyond their comprehension in most cases

    Why this would be true is beyond my comprehension. In my own observation, most (though not all) Catholics who attend the traditional rite some Sundays attend the new rite other Sundays (and would never wamt tp miss Mass any Sunday, whatever rite is available). Many attend daily Mass in the new rite, and are involved with their parishes in the usual range of other ways, ranging from catechesis and social service programs to eucharistic adoration and pro-life activities. Any bishop who gets to know these folks will note the prevalence of active young Catholics, many with big families, whose faith permeates their lives, not just their public worship. In short, the kind of committed Catholics you’d think a bishop would value most. Why some bishops appear not to appreciate them is a puzzle to me.

  14. Andrew says:

    I hate the word “traditionalist”. It really rubs me the wrong way. I definitely prefer the “extraordinary” form of the Roman rite over the vernacular Novus Ordo, but I am not anything else but a Roman Catholic. I am not a member of some Italian catholic church. And certainly not of any American catholic church. Roman catholic is what I am, not any traditionalist catholic. One of the most unfortunate aspects of this duality of form, ordinary and extraordinary, is the “rating” of Masses and the endless comparisons. Fidelity will bring about peace. The better Roman Catholics we become the less we will be divided.

  15. Richard says:

    Fr Fessio has an analysis of Summorum Pontificum on YouTube.

  16. Brian says:

    *Paul* writes:

    However the last thing they want is for ordinary catholics and priests to start taking an interest in this rite and become converted into traditionalists and suddenly start dressing in old fashioned suits and dresses down to their ankles, dress 3 year old children in victorian childrens clothes at mass (sailor suits, shirts and ties), homeschool them, throw out the television and generally behave like Catholic Amish.

    Y’know… this may cause people to label me as an oddball, but:

    1) I dress up to go to Mass, every day.

    2) My wife wears a veil (albeit a subtle one), very long skirts, and necklines on her tops are rarely below the hollow of the neck. She says that she wants to be “easy on the eyes of a chaste man”… and God bless her for it!

    3) As one who taught in the USA public schools (replete with active–and, in some cases, *mandatory*–promotion of sexual perversion, anti-Christian worldviews, etc.) and in a Catholic school (better, but still stunningly secular in outlook), I’d caution anyone against scoffing at homeschools. I’ve tutored several homeschooled kids, and I’ve found them (with few exceptions) to be *far* superior in academics, self-discipline, and even socialization (since they didn’t learn their social skills from peer-pressure-driven groups of shallow, back-stabbing adolescent “cliques”). Thus far, my wife and I have been unable to have children… but if we ever do, I assure you that we’ll be homeschooling them.

    4) My wife and I don’t have a TV (I grew up with it), and its absence is one of the best things to help a marriage. My goodness, we actually *talk* to each other–person to person–on a very regular basis! Shocking, what a lack of TV can do… :)

    5) We live in an area which has a large number of “plain people” (Amish, Mennonites, German Brethren, etc.); and–while I certainly disagree with their mistaken theology (and some of the spirituality which flows from it), they’re some of the kindest, most humble, honest, modestly-dressed (in contract to the Britney Spears types of outfits worn by many of the non-Plain-People, in our area), hard-working and peaceful people my wife and I have ever met. I’d caution people about using the Amish (and similar people) with distorted caricatures in mind…

    Just to add context: my wife is no devotee of the Extraordinary Form at all; the “Tridentine” form leaves her cold. (I’m warming up to it, though I wish more priests who celebrated it in our area didn’t *rush* through it like a horse-race!) These comments are only to address the supposed “horrid outcomes” itemized above.

    In Christ,
    Brian

  17. Craigmaddie says:

    David:

    I am somewhat perplexed. I know that His Grace celebrated the Traditional Mass in 2002 – one of the first times that this had been done in Scotland since the imposition of the 1970 missal. Yet his contempt for the traditional use seems manifest. I am confused.

    Some light may be thrown on this by the fact that at an Una Voce AGM after the Archbishop offered Mass in the traditional rite he went around the members during lunchtime, slapped one older lady who makes a round trip of 100 miles to attend Mass acording to the 1962 Missal every Sunday, and said, “it’s nice to have a bit of nostalgia now and again, isn’t it?”

    He sees what he usually refers to the “pre-conciliar Mass” as merely an historical curiosity to be taken out of the cupboard every now and then, dusted off for a celebration, and then put back in again.

    There is a curious logic in what His Grace says as he maintains there is little interest but at the same time is going out of his way to ensure that there will be no growth in interest in the Archdiocese in the traditional rite.

    And, ahem, just to put it diplomatically: if there were priests who were interested in offering the traditional liturgy they would certainly be put off by such a letter. That was the purpose of his missive to the clergy and I believe it has the desired effect. Sad.

  18. Craigmaddie says:

    slapped one older lady

    Woops. I meant to say “slapped one older lady on the back”!

  19. Derik Castillo says:

    Andrew: I hate the word “traditionalist”. It really rubs me the wrong way.

    If I understand properly, Catholicism rests on the solid foundation of tradition.
    Mother Church is not making up what she teaches us, but as you know, stands on the
    shoulders of the tradition to discern the best way to go. This is why I believe
    all Catholics should see themselves as “traditionalist”. A good example of this
    can be found in Fr. Z.

    The ecumenical councils are great when they define and clarify what the church
    have been believing and practicing long ago. I believe this is the main problem with the
    Ordinary form of the Mass, as opposed to the immemorial tradition backing up the
    Extraordinary form of Mass.

    God bless

  20. Paul, South Midlands says:

    Hi Brian,

    The point I am trying to make is that some traditionalists, like the amish, seem to reject entirely the modern world. Its almost as if nothing good has happened since 1914 and they seem to lead a life that hides away from the real world.

    Thats all very well but there are 6 billion souls in the modern world and, by deciding we are born now, God has called us to do His work among them. Taking homeschooling as an example, we often hear about the malign influences of schools on Catholic children, but no-one seems to make the point that children from good Catholic homes who attend schools can too evangelise – not by propaganda but by example – and they certainly cannot do so if schooling at home.

    No I wouldn’t let my daughters attend Mass dressed as Britney Spears but then neither would I force them to attend Mass in clothes so drastically different from the majority of their peer group that they would become the object of ridicule among them, as it would put them rapidly off attending Mass.

    Similarly, I would not get rid of the TV or drastically censor what they watch (within reason). Why? Far better that they are at home and able to ask us about what they may have seen and for us to be able to explain. If we had no TV, they would be at a friends house watching it, and we would have no control over what they watch whatsoever.

    Hiding from the world is fine if you are in a enclosed monastic order, however I fear it is a recipe for disaster within the family and, much as I like to attend the Tridentine Mass from time to time, I do find some of the families that attend exclusively to be somewhat eccentric.

  21. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    To Derek Castillo:

    Tradition comes from a Latin word meaning ‘that which is handed down’. In earlier Latin, it usually meant what was handed over, and often referred to the ransoming of hostages. From your comment, you have a good understanding of the concept. You quite rightly suggest the sense of it, that tradition requires transmission (same root); that it is not simply something old but something relatively old that was *transmitted* to recent generations.

    The reason we apply the term to those who adhere to the old Mass is that it was transmitted for well over fifteen centuries, changing slowly and organically over that time. It is our heritage; we have received it.

    But the progressives adhere to a Mass that was composed by committee, even though many elements of it had their roots in tradition. But some did not. For example, the New Offertory is partly from a Jewish grace that is foreign to the Catholic Tradition; the rest was largely invented by Bugnini’s Consilium. Another example is the second Eucharistic Prayer. Part of it is adapted from the Canon of Hippolytus, which may have been never used in the West, and was certainly not transmitted in the Latin Church; other parts, once again, are pure inventions. Much could be said about some of the other new Eucharistic Prayers. And the restoration of the Bidding Prayer is an example of the sort of archæologism that was condemned by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei: it does not transmit but restores a long-extinct element (and does so without regard to form).

    Progressives are not traditionalists because progressives adhere to liturgies and disciplines the very creation of which was done according to a method that is untraditional. I mean innovation.

    P.K.T.P.

  22. Peter Karl T. Perkins says:

    As usual, Fr. Z. has done an excellent analysis of the the reaction of Archbishop Conti. Many of the Archbishop’s misinterpretations of S.P. do not require further commentary, since they repeat those of other bishops. I have only a few remarks to make.

    First, if the Pope had in mind the sort of continuously-existing group attached to the 1962 Mass that Archbishop Conti seems to imagine, there would have been no reason to issue S.P. in the first place. Once again, the law assumes that people’s claims are true unless indicated otherwise; so, if I say that I am attached to the “Latin liturgical tradition” (which, by the way, is a broader category than the 1962 Mass), then the law assumes that I am. And to say that a group is continuously-existing (or even ‘stable’, for that matter) does not logically mean that it must have existed continuously *since* the promulgation of the New Mass in 1970. People could have become attached to the 1962 Mass subsequent to the 1970s, either by assisting at 1962 Masses elsewhere (and then moving) or simply by reading 1962 Missals or even watching the 1962 Mass on television. Clearly, even vicarious experience can cause one to become attached to something. So, as long as the group has existed continuously prior to the date it lodges a request, it qualifies.

    Your Grace: Please be more accommodating. Those who love the old Mass and yearn for it are attached to it. If its provision in no way deprives others of their right of access to the New Mass, why should it concern you? You need only ensure that abuses are not advanced by the celebrants at either Mass. That means no 1962 Masses or New Masses that ignore the rubrics. Be as exacting about the first as you have been in regard to the second!

    P.K.T.P.

  23. Knight of Our Lady says:

    “Its also of note that the 1962 mass is
    forbidden in Northern Ireland”.

    No it isn’t. The Latin Mass Society of Ireland
    has organised Mass in the Traditional Rite in
    Northern Ireland on several occassions.

    See http://www.latinmassireland.org

  24. Brian says:

    Hi, Paul!

    (Feel free to e-mail me at paladin@catholicweb.com, if you’d like to chat more about this topic; “mea culpa” for dragging us so far down a conversational “rabbit trail”… sorry, Father Z.!)

    A few quick points, in reply:

    The point I am trying to make is that some traditionalists, like the amish, seem to reject entirely the modern world. Its almost as if nothing good has happened since 1914 and they seem to lead a life that hides away from the real world.

    Well… this may sound like a quibble of philosophy, but I’d be very reluctant to call the secular world “the real world”. Yes, it’s real in the fact that it *exists*, but it’s quite far adrift from God, Who is the Ground of Reality. Evil is a privation of good, not a “negative existence”; and Sacred Scripture is very strident in its warnings against adapting ourselves to “the world” (in that secular sense).

    Thats all very well but there are 6 billion souls in the modern world and, by deciding we are born now, God has called us to do His work among them.

    True… but we need to use discretion. One would be ill advised, for example, to get a job bartending at a strip club, in an attempt to “evangelize the heathen where they are”. I’d also gently remind anyone and everyone that the cloisters of the world are full of people who are certainly in the “real world” (far more real than our secular world, BTW) and are most decidedly doing God’s work… in ways that humble our poor efforts.

    Taking homeschooling as an example, we often hear about the malign influences of schools on Catholic children, but no-one seems to make the point that children from good Catholic homes who attend schools can too evangelise – not by propaganda but by example – and they certainly cannot do so if schooling at home.

    I’m afraid that argument is riddled with difficulties.

    First, no one (save for those who are insane) would throw their children on the front lines of a fierce combat; I don’t mean that one need be isolationist (which is your worry, if I take your meaning), but it would be irresponsible to force an 8-year-old to defend him/herself against a sin-saturated culture whose grasp of media and emotional manipulation are usually completely beyond the child’s ability to overcome.

    Second, this very argument “slippery slopes” itself into justifying the most outrageous forays into spiritual “enemy territory”, regardless of prudence (see the “strip club bartender evangelist” example, above).

    Third (similar to #2), the “send your kids to evangelize” assumes that (a) the children are more secure in their faith than their “opponent” children are in their secularism (and they have the world-wide mass media industry to support them!), and (b) the parents are able to equip their children for such a battle. (Many parents have vastly inflated opinions of their own abilities to educate their children in the Faith.)


    No I wouldn’t let my daughters attend Mass dressed as Britney Spears but then neither would I force them to attend Mass in clothes so drastically different from the majority of their peer group that they would become the object of ridicule among them, as it would put them rapidly off attending Mass.

    I don’t see how long dresses and high necklines would necessarily lead to such dire consequences, frankly… and such an attitude can’t help but rely on completely subjective judgments of “modesty”. (Many parents think that their daughters’ “short shorts” and “spaghetti strap tops” are modest, since they don’t actually “reveal anything”; the longer parents and kids live in a sexualized society, the more skin-exposure will become “acceptable”.)

    Similarly, I would not get rid of the TV or drastically censor what they watch (within reason). Why? Far better that they are at home and able to ask us about what they may have seen and for us to be able to explain. If we had no TV, they would be at a friends house watching it, and we would have no control over what they watch whatsoever.

    I’ve heard this idea, many times… and it makes the invalid assumption that parental explanations, etc., can completely neutralize all of the effects of immoral TV shows, etc.; that simply doesn’t make sense, to me. Pope Paul VI wrote, in “Inter Mirifica”:


    10. Those who make use of the media of communications, especially the young, should take steps to accustom themselves to moderation and self-control in their regard. They should, moreover, endeavor to deepen their understanding of what they see, hear or read. They should discuss these matters with their teachers and experts, and learn to pass sound judgments on them. Parents should remember that they have a most serious duty to guard carefully lest shows, publications and other things of this sort, which may be morally harmful, enter their homes or affect their children under other circumstances.

    http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19631204_inter-mirifica_en.html

    Notice? You’re quite right to advise parents and children to discuss what the children see; but it’s a mistake to go further, and “throw the doors wide” for secular and sexualized messages to enter the home (and the minds of your children); some damage done by corrupt media is immediate, and “explanations after the fact” cannot completely undo that damage.

    Hiding from the world is fine if you are in a enclosed monastic order, however I fear it is a recipe for disaster within the family and, much as I like to attend the Tridentine Mass from time to time, I do find some of the families that attend exclusively to be somewhat eccentric.

    First of all, removing a TV is hardly “hiding from the world”; it merely removes an avenue by which a disproportionate amount of moral filth enters the typical home of a family in an industrialized country. (I find it difficult to believe that those in third-world countries all have socially and morally degraded families, because they lack access to TV’s and newspapers…) Second, I grant that there are eccentrics who assist at the EF Masses, just as there are eccentrics (usually of the politically liberal variety) who assist woefully distorted NO Masses; that has very little to do with the intrinsic value of homeschooling; it would be a vile caricature to assume that all homeschooled families are like that, or that homeschooling “warps the minds of the young”, by definition. (Goodness, we’ve only had institutionalized public schools for a century or two; are we to believe that the cultures of previous millenia were rife with mental and social derangement, because of the lack of “needed leavening agent” from the public schools? The mind boggles.)

    In my experience: those who react negatively to challenges against the “institutional schools” are doing so from mostly-blind reflex (i.e. they simply can’t fathom the world being any different… and they treat homeschoolers as they would “flat-earth-ers”, holocaust-deniers, and those who claim that the moon-landings were hoaxes!).

    In Christ,
    Brian

  25. Brian says:

    Yeesh… did I really call those “quick points”? Mea maxima culpa…! :)

    In Christ,
    Brian

  26. kat says:

    Coming from a pretty normal homeschooling mom of 5 Catholic who hasn’t had TV for 10 years now, thank you Brian for your response. My husband and I came into the church by reading the Catechism and encyclicals. If we had first sat through a typical Novus Ordo Mass beforehand (we converted in Italy) likely we would have run right back to the Episcopal Church.

    The reverence and humility evident in the average layman during the TLM helps me to be more holy in my vocation as a wife and mother. The opposite is true during the NO Mass we attend during the summer, seeing snarly girl altar servers wearing flipflops, EEMs wearing sleeveless tank tops, the priest who changes the words of the liturgy regularly and doesn’t even acknowledge Jesus in the Tabernacle… I find myself in a critical mindset and not focused on worship and adoration.

    I would not be a good Catholic mother if I sent my children out into the world without a strong knowledge of their faith. However, if they are apart from any Catholic teaching for most of the day, for most of the year, where and when will they learn the teachings of the Church? On Sunday mornings between 9-9:45? In the 15 minutes between dinner and homework or in the 30 minutes before they turn out the light? We have learned from the past 40 years that assuming the “Catholic” schools or CCD will fully teach the faith is a sure recipe for uncatechized young adults who leave the Catholic Church to join the Baptists down the road who offer loud singing, swaying, and a bumper crop of social outlets.

    I can’t speak for those who do otherwise, but I don’t want to play Russian Roulette with my children’s education and souls. My mission, my vocation is to pray, teach, and guide my family to Heaven as best I can. Jesus said to love our neighbors and the catechism says we are most responsible to the neighbors who are our immediate family.
    I have a strong hope that the summorum pontificum will lead the Church back on a course of being a strong ship leading many to sainthood in Heaven.