Naples, FL: implementing Summorum Pontificum

In the wake of Summorum Pontificum, we need patience and foresight in exercising our rights.  Lot’s of patience. 

In that light, check out this nice story is in the Naples [Florida] Daily News

My emphases and comments.

 

A new old Mass

It’s not for every Catholic, but for some, the Latin Mass offers a kind of intimacy, a solemn focus

VICTORIA MACCHI, Special to the Daily News

Saturday, October 27, 2007

There is no music, no chatter [!] as people settle in for an early Sunday Mass. No one is late, [!] and the shuffling of feet is audible as the congregation rises and the priest enters.

As he reaches the altar, he turns away from the crowd so everyone faces the same direction. [Exactly right.] An altar server struggles to move a rail into place, closing off the altar from the congregation. Without a microphone, the priest’s recitation of the Mass in Latin is just loud enough for people to follow, [after all... how loud does it have to be?] in English, in the missalettes, but soft enough that as the parishioners kneel, sit and stand, the creaking of wood and knees echoes around the chapel.

At the Catholic Tridentine Mass, also known as the Latin Mass, [but not by the better informed] an average of 100 people attend every Sunday at St. Agnes Chapel in Naples since it began on Aug. 26

“People go to the old Mass to pray to God,” says the Rev. James Fryar, after the recently added Latin Mass at St. Agnes Chapel in Naples. “People go to the new Mass with more of an orientation on a ‘myself’ sort of thing. ‘What I understand, what I get out of Mass, how I can participate more.’ [Is that slightly unfair?   Probably, but he has a point.  That probably does characterize the majority of people in a regular parish with the Novus Ordo.] There is a certain amount of participation [I would say quite a lot, actually.] in the old Mass as well. … But it’s more oriented towards God.”

Treacy Gibbens switched from attending Sunday Mass at St. Williams Parish in Naples to the Latin liturgy this summer. “There are fewer distractions,” he says. “You can really pray. I love it.”

Born in 1923, Gibbens grew up with this Mass. As the director of the local chapter of Una Voce, an organization devoted to the promulgation of the Latin Mass, he is pleased with its addition to the schedule at St. Agnes.

“I can remember before Vatican II, as you’d be walking out of the church after the Mass, your mind was still on the Mass. There wasn’t all the talking after that Mass that there is nowadays,” he said of the new Mass, or the Novus Ordo. [This begs the question: If people behaved more reverently in church before and after Mass, would that do it for him?  At St. Agnes in St. Paul, people are very quiet and respectful in Church, and the Novus Ordo is used.  This isn't an old Mass v. newer Mass phenomenon.  A lot has to do with the way the priest has formed the flock.]

From 1962 to 1965, the Second Vatican Council promoted [mandated] a series of reforms to the Catholic Church, including changes to the liturgy, in an attempt to bring the Mass closer to the people. This included allowing for the use of the vernacular during Masses and the use of local customs as permitted by the bishop. Since then, the use of local languages has flourished in Masses around the world, leaving a small but vocal group of Catholic laypeople and clergy, who support the use of the Roman liturgy or Latin Mass.

In a statement issued by Pope Benedict XVI on July 7, he asserted that the Latin Mass [the OLDER form of Mass in Latin] was to be more generally allowed and that congregations wishing to celebrate it had only to ask their parish priest, rather than request it of their bishop. The issue, however, was that since the reforms not all priests studied the Roman liturgy in the seminary, therefore not all parishes could fulfill the need.  [Give it time.]

This is why Fryar comes from Sarasota, where he arrived three months ago, to Naples every weekend to officiate the Latin Mass [Don't phrases like this get you the sense that the author isn't Catholic?] at 8 a.m. before heading back up to his parish of St. Martha’s for a 1:30 p.m. Mass on Sundays.

Three years ago, Fryar was ordained into [again] the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, a community of Roman Catholic priests who only celebrate the Latin Mass. In order to serve the needs of Catholics asking for the old Mass, he was brought down from Pennsylvania three months ago.

“I figured, look, if I want to be a priest, I want to go all the way and do the Mass as holy as I can,” says the 33-year-old priest. “You can tell it’s serious — this Mass, there’s no messing around.”

At the low Mass, which is the liturgy in its simplest form, the only sound that intentionally breaks the silences is when the servers ring small bells during the consecration. To receive communion, congregents must kneel at the altar rail, [Unless they have a broken leg or choose to stand...] and can only receive the host on their tongue, rather than in their hands as they do the new Mass.  [Wrong... they sadly still have the right to receive in the hand, though we are very glad they don't.]

Several women at St. Agnes also carry on the tradition of using the chapel veil, or mantilla, a triangle or semi-circle of lace of lace often in white or black placed loosely over their hair.

Starting a Latin Mass in Naples was motivated by a demand from local Catholics, and by geography, says Bishop Frank Dewane of the Diocese of Venice, of which Naples is a part.

“We have a Latin Mass scheduled in Sarasota and parishioners often traveled up from the Southern deanery to attend, so we responded to the requests that we had,” says the bishop. “The diocese wanted to make the Latin Mass convenient [HURRAY! Generosity rather than stinginess!] to parishioners and the chapel at St. Agnes Church was chosen.

- – -

While some of the older parishioners rise early Sundays for a dose of religious nostalgia [GRRRRRR.... this is condescending.] — and others for the convenience of the early Mass — younger families make up at least half of the Latin Mass congregation at St. Agnes chapel.

Fryar says more than 90 percent of the participants at Masses performed by his order are young families.

“We like to bring our kids because it teaches them better. The outward signs (of the Novus Ordo Mass) don’t really represent what’s going on,” says Jared Kuebler, 27. [Interesting observations.] He and his wife Maria, 26, moved to the area in August from California so Jared could begin graduate school at Ave Maria University. They have attended the Latin Mass at St. Agnes since then.

The couple believes that their children, a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son, pick up on the sobriety of the Mass.

“It’s not somewhere where they can play around,” says Jared Kuebler.

“There’s things here that remind you this is something special, outside of your daily life,” he adds. “They notice the difference. They sit quietly and they play quietly.”  [Yes... I think this is about right.]

Music at other Masses, says his wife, had them wriggling around.

Gregorian chant, which is sometimes performed at the Latin Mass, might not be conducive to playtime.  [Truer words were never spoken!]

Joseph Pearce, 46, a professor of literature at Ave Maria University attends the Latin Mass. He says his young son “is a handful whatever Mass we go to” but the family comes to St. Agnes Chapel for the smaller community and the more solemn nature of the service.

“I like the reverence of it. We’re not exclusively Latin Mass people,” Pearce says, adding that while he and his family have attended the new Mass as well, they feel particularly at home with the Latin Mass congregation because of its size.

“But I think that what we mustn’t lose sight of is the focus of the Mass is Christ, particularly Christ’s sacrifice … And if the community aspect of the Mass eclipses that dimension — and at it’s worst, there’s a danger of that — then we’ve lost focus.”

- – -

But the issue of the Latin Mass is a sensitive one in the Church amongst the clergy and laypeople. [Only among some laypeople and clergy.] As the New Mass gained ground over the Roman liturgy following Vatican II, tensions emerged.

“People experienced the loss of the Latin Mass as the loss of something you love, and I think some of that is still there,” explains Fr. Robert Murphy, a priest at St. William Parish in Naples. “When the Mass went from Latin to the language of the people, there were a significant amount of people who never went to Mass again. It was a tough adjustment on everybody.”  [Folks... the sloppy term "the Latin Mass" has me chewing my own tongue off, but we have to be patient.]

For many priests, however, the Novus Ordo was what they learned in seminary, and there is little inclination to change their ways.

“I have no inclination to. I never had it, and I still have a vocation, and I love the Church. I don’t see myself taking the time to learn (it). I’m perfectly content in English.” [I wonder if that does not smack slightly of laziness.]

Murphy, for example, says he has no inclination to learn to preach the Latin Mass.

”I never had it, and I still have a vocation, and I love the Church,” says Murphy, who has been a priest in the Diocese of Venice nearly 14 years. “I don’t see myself taking the time to learn (it). I’m perfectly content in English.”

The demand for the Latin Mass at his old parish of St. Andrew’s in Cape Coral only came from one or two people, he says.

He believes it is “perfectly OK” to worship in the vernacular, adding the local need for Spanish, Creole and Polish-speaking clerics. “We try to serve all people,” Murphy emphasizes.  [Except those who want the older Mass?]

Fryar doesn’t disagree.

“People who are comfortable praying in English to God — by all means, pray to God the best way you can.” [Everyone do your own thing!]

After announcing the addition of Fryar’s Latin Mass to the congregation, Fr. Robert Kantor said people were curious about the larger picture concerning faith and church. The decision to bring it to St. Agnes was based on hospitality, [!] says Kantor, the administrator of St. Agnes. “I did want the people here to understand it was a result of need.

“These are people that are trying to be accommodated to celebrate a Mass that’s part of the Church,” he say “I don’t think this means anything other than the Bishop trying to serve people who like this Mass.”  [Excellent.]

Fryar says he believes it is unfair to compare the Latin Mass to more contemporary interpretations. “The Latin Mass has been around for 2,000 years, and it took maybe three centuries to get it perfected to one stage. … What you have in the 20th century is that the Mass has been perfected for 20 centuries. The new rite Mass is valid; it’s good; it’s holy … but it’s only been around for what, 40 years?”  [A good point.]

There are no immediate plans to expand the venues for Latin Mass in the Naples/Ft. Myers area, however, Bishop Dewane, however, “There are no immediate plans to expand the venues for Latin Mass” in the Naples/Ft. Myers area.  [Is there an echo?]

“It’s hard to say about the future. It depends whether the new generation that was not brought up in it wants to go back to it,” said Murphy.

“The future is that it will always happen as long as there are priests who want to say it.”  [That's for sure!]

In the balance a very nice article, insofar as its content is concerned.

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17 Responses to Naples, FL: implementing Summorum Pontificum

  1. EDG says:

    Definitely a better article than some, and certainly a better diocese than many (in Florida, at least).

    Today after the TLM in another part of Florida (the 8:00 a.m., inconvenient downtown parish, only-one-in-the-diocese mass that used to be known as the “indult mass,”), I heard from some people who had gathered over 200 signatures for a TLM in their parish that basically the petition is going nowhere. They jumped through the hoops, the pastor says he can’t do it, and the bishop is not going to do anything to promote this because he is known to hate the TLM. I think we’re going to see this more and more. People will jump through the hoops and then nothing will happen.

    But I think we’re not acknowledging the real reason. I am very much in favor of Latin, but I realized as I thought about this situation today that Latin is just their excuse for not doing the Tridentine Rite mass. What they really hate is the mass, regardless of the language. If you permitted the vernacular celebrations of the traditional mass that were permitted at various points in the early 60s, they’d still hate it. Having it in Latin simply enables them to say that there are technical obstacles (nobody knows the Latin) that prevent them from saying it.

    I want to stress that I am not advocating a Tridentine Rite in the vernacular, but what I realized today is that they know that the NO and the traditional mass are in reality two very different things. Granted, you can have an NO that is perfectly reverent, acceptable, etc. But the focus is different and the disposition is different.

    The anti-tradition crowd doesn’t want the old focus (on Our Lord and His saving work) coming back, regardless of the language.

  2. Chironomo says:

    It seems that no sooner had the ink dried on this article, another TLM popped up in the Diocese of Venice, now in Bradenton at Sacred Heart, on the initiative of the pastor there. We now have THREE parishes celebrating nthe TLM, and all of this only a little over a month after SP went into effect. Fr. Fryar is also saying that Mass, but the Pastor is conducting the Schola in the Chants… this is a very good situation which will only grow as time goes on…

  3. dcs says:

    My wife and I noticed the tendency of children to be better-behaved at the traditional Mass than the Novus Ordo early on. Our own children are probably not as well-behaved as some children at Mass, but the difference in the way they behave at the TLM vs. how they behaved at the NOM is startling. And now, if we are forced to go to the occasional NOM, they know how to act.

  4. michigancatholic says:

    “People go to the old Mass to pray to God,” says the Rev. James Fryar, after the recently added Latin Mass at St. Agnes Chapel in Naples. “People go to the new Mass with more of an orientation on a ‘myself’ sort of thing. ‘What I understand, what I get out of Mass, how I can participate more.’

    Yes, that is precisely what many people say about themselves & the N. O. in their parishes, at least around here. I’ve heard it many times. (I go to both forms, ordinary & extraordinary.)

    I’ve also been asked multiple times if I am “active in my parish,” meaning precisely “am I a lay minister.” It is believed by many people that if they are not “active” in a lay ministry sort of way, that they’re missing something in their faith lives. Lay ministry can include Eucharistic minister, lector, RCIA staff, youth minister and so on. Rather little is made of the moral concommitants required to serve well. It’s church as “something-to-do” or “something-to-get-something-out-of” rather like a meeting on one’s calendar.

    The word “participation” (for many parishoners) refers to singing, shaking hands, being friendly and “welcoming,” and all that sort of thing. (Curiously, it often does not seem to extend beyond the double doors, even to the parking lot. Presumably, perhaps people have gotten what they came for by the time they get back to the parking lot?)

  5. Alex says:

    [Wrong… they sadly still have the right to receive in the hand, though we are very glad they don’t.]

    Reverend Father,

    You are wrong here. Even from a strictly pro-Vatican II view one has to conclude that the giving of Holy Communion into the hand contradicts yes violates the prescriptions of the Roman Missal of 1962. Communion into the hand is not allowed at the Tridentine Mass also because of the pro-reverence and avoiding of sacrilege dominating in the Latin Mass communities. Priests are not allowed to give Holy Communion into the hand if people demand it. Holy Communion into the hand can not legally be demanded from a priest, as the 1968 “indult” by Paul VI (in Memoriale Domini, an encyclical otherwise warning about the sacrilege and other dangers of Hand Communion) applies only to certain church provinces and as this indult – as with the case of the altar girls – is not binding upon a priest not wishing to use it. It is not universal law in any way and no one can demand to receive “into the hand” at e.g. a Melkite Catholic parish either.

    The same for the Traditional Roman Rite parishes (personal) or communities.

    I do not agree with the FSSP priest that the Novus Ordo Missae is “holy”. The Sacrifice of the Mass is holy, the Real presence is holy, and they can be confected by celebrating faithfully in mind of Tradition the Paul VI form, but the intention of the creation cannot be stated to be holy.

  6. Legisperitus says:

    I know people are usually being condescending when they talk about ‘nostalgia,’ but consider the word’s etymology. It just means homesickness, and the Mass is home to us. Why wouldn’t we want to feel at home when we go to church?

  7. Jordan Potter says:

    Alex said: Priests are not allowed to give Holy Communion into the hand if people demand it.

    In the U.S. they are not only allowed, they are required to place the Host in the hand if people approach for Holy Communion holding out their hands. Yes, even in the Tridentine Mass. Father has gone over all of this before. This is something that is governed by universal law for the Latin Rite, and the pre-Vatican II Mass is a Latin Rite Mass.

    I don’t think it actually happens that someone seeks Communion in the hand at the traditional Latin Mass, but the law is clear that if he did, the priest could not deny him.

    Holy Communion into the hand cannot legally be demanded from a priest

    In the U.S. it can.

    as the 1968 “indult” by Paul VI (in Memoriale Domini, an encyclical otherwise warning about the sacrilege and other dangers of Hand Communion applies only to certain church provinces

    Such as the U.S.

    and as this indult – as with the case of the altar girls – is not binding upon a priest not wishing to use it.

    You are mistaken. A priest is permitted to use female altar boys, but is not required to do so. But a priest is required by canon law to give Holy Communion to anyone who asks, so long as the person is not impeded by law from receiving Communion. There is no stipulation in canon law that says a priest can deny someone Communion for asking for Communion in the hand.

    It is not universal law in any way

    Yes, it is universal law for the Latin Rite: like it or not, in those provinces that have permission from the Holy See for Communion in the hand, universal law says Communion in the hand is permitted and no priest may prevent the faithful from approaching him with their hands out if they so choose.

    and no one can demand to receive “into the hand” at e.g. a Melkite Catholic parish either.

    Universal law for the Latin Rite obviously does not apply to the Melkite Rite, so what pertains to the Melkites is irrelevant to what pertains to the Latins.

    The same for the Traditional Roman Rite parishes (personal) or communities.

    The traditional Roman Rite is not a separate rite from the post-Vatican II Roman Rite: by law they are two uses of the one Roman Rite, so the laws regarding reception of Holy Communion that pertain to the Roman Rite apply to the traditional Roman Rite.

    I do not agree with the FSSP priest that the Novus Ordo Missae is “holy”.

    So you’re saying that it is profane or unholy? Something that belongs to Holy Church is not holy? How exactly does that work?

    The Sacrifice of the Mass is holy, the Real presence is holy, and they can be confected by celebrating faithfully in mind of Tradition the Paul VI form,

    Then the Pauline Missal is holy.

    but the intention of the creation cannot be stated to be holy.

    The intent behind the fabrication of the reform of the Roman Rite was unholy? I’m not so sure about that.

  8. W says:

    Priests are not allowed to give Holy Communion into the hand if people demand it.

    In the U.S. they are not only allowed, they are required to place the Host in the hand if people approach for Holy Communion holding out their hands. Yes, even in the Tridentine Mass.

    Two questions:

    Firest, Does this still apply in the cases where a diocesan bishop has explicitly stated that one may not receive in the hand at an extraordinary form mass? Such statements were made by several U.S. bishops in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.

    Second, I have seen communion in the hand denied before. I have no reason to believe the priest is ignorant of canon law – so maybe he knows something we don’t?

  9. Jordan Potter says:

    W asked: Does this still apply in the cases where a diocesan bishop has explicitly stated that one may not receive in the hand at an extraordinary form mass? Such statements were made by several U.S. bishops in the wake of Summorum Pontificum.

    There would have to be more than a public statement from a bishop — there would have to be something official from the bishop, confirmed by Rome. Otherwise it’s just the bishop expressing an opinion about a matter, not making an authoritative rule or decree.

    I have seen communion in the hand denied before. I have no reason to believe the priest is ignorant of canon law – so maybe he knows something we don’t?

    It may not be that he is ignorant of canon law. It might be that he hold to an incorrect interpretation of canon law.

    I’m not a fan of Communion in the hand (I’ve never received in the hand), and I don’t think it’s a good idea to try to receive in the hand at a traditional Latin Mass. But Father is correct about what the law of the Church is.

  10. John Paul says:

    I am a bit disturbed by the discussion of Communion in the hand, and whether
    Canon Law permits it (or Altar Girls, etc..) What about the mixing of the forms
    of the Rite? In 1962 there was no Communion in the hand, or standing, or Altar
    Girls, or Novus Ordo Missae. The fact that all those things have come in to
    being, despite previous disapproval of all of them from Rome, does that mean that
    by Canon Law they can all be applied to the Extraordinary Form? If that is
    really the case, I am very troubled, and worry about the “graviatational pull” on
    the Extraordinary Form rather than the other way around.

    I too had some trouble with the FSSP priest’s claim that not only is the
    Novus Ordo valid, which I am unqualified to discern one way or the other, but
    that it is holy and reverent. If that really is the case, then what exactly are
    we talking about in all these various posts since the MP? That we simply like
    a bit of Latin or chant to “spice up” our personal perference for the Old Mass?

    If the Novus Ordo is valid, reverent, holy, is a clear expression of the
    Sacrifice of Calvary, expresses the same theology of the Real Presence in both,
    and by definition, is prescribed by Holy Church, therefore it is holy and good,
    then again, what are we really talking about here? Simply personal preference?
    we even talking about?!

  11. Athelstane says:

    Getting back to Naples: I am very, very happy for the many Catholics in the Naples area who have campaigned for years to have a regular celebration of the mass according to the 1962 missal. People like Treacy Gibbens and Joe Pearce have been waiting a long gime for this.

    The promulgation of the motu proprio wasa great help, but so was the advent of the new bishop, Frank Dewane. Bishop Dewane has generally been more receptive than was his predecessor. Previous petitions, amply signed, had no real success. And as most here know, there have been difficulties in the past in arranging to have the traditional liturgy oc campus at Ave Maria University.

    St. Agnes is not the ideal setting for the TLM – it is a brand new and modernist design church, but I understand this may be a temporary arrangement.

  12. Henry Edwards says:

    John Paul: If the Novus Ordo … [1]is a clear expression of the
    Sacrifice of Calvary, [2]expresses the same theology of the Real Presence

    Fr. Fryar said neither of these things in the article. Have you heard anyone else (one either side of the liturgical fence) say them?

  13. Little Gal says:

    “If the Novus Ordo is valid, reverent, holy, is a clear expression of the
    Sacrifice of Calvary, expresses the same theology of the Real Presence in both,
    and by definition, is prescribed by Holy Church, therefore it is holy and good,
    then again, what are we really talking about here? Simply personal preference?”
    Comment by John Paul — 29 October 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    I have wondered about the personal preference issue myself. What about Mass in a war zone? There is no marble altar-however it faces-no brocade vestments etc.,The Mass is bare of the nonessentials, yet I would bet that if we were able to talk with the troops who have experienced the Mass under these circumstances, that it is probably the most meaningful liturgy that they ever have or will attend.

  14. Jordan Potter says:

    John Paul said: I too had some trouble with the FSSP priest’s claim that not only is the Novus Ordo valid, which I am unqualified to discern one way or the other, but that it is holy and reverent.

    You are qualified to discern the validity of the Pauline Missal as long as you are an orthodox Catholic who believes in the indefectibility of the Church. Is it possible for St. Peter to promulgate invalid sacraments? If so, what then of Christ’s promise that He would always be with the Church, that the gates of hell would not prevail?

  15. John Paul says:

    For Jordan Potter: I am simply stating that there have been other writers who
    have questioned the validity of the Novus Ordo, principally over the translation
    of “Pro Multis” in the Consecration. I don’t question the validity myself, but
    I do believe that the Novus Ordo has had a less than positive effect on the
    Church, for many reasons well documented in multiple sources. For myself, I get
    confused when I see praise for the New Mass simply on the basis that it comes
    from Rome, from Holy Mother Church, and therefore must be holy and good. If it
    really is holy and good, then what “gravitational pull” are those who comment on
    here really believe is necessary? Not just “nice to have,” but necessary?

    For Henry Edwards: Yes, last week during the discussion on whether there really
    are two different rites or not, more than one priest stated that both Masses
    express the same Sacrifice of Calvary. I can’t find the exact page at the
    moment with the entire discussion, but that was the topic. I did question it
    at the time on the blog, asking a similar question. Do we really believe
    both Masses express the same theology?

  16. LeonG says:

    Arguments about validity usually make relatively little headway. They are usually focussed on what constitutes illicit behaviours which may eventually impinge upon validity subsequently. There is no doubt that some NO services are invalid from the perpsectives of form, intention and or matter. There is abundant objectively verifiable evidence to demonstrate some of these cases.

    The key issue is to what extent the NO service propagates The Roman Catholic Faith in its consistent perenniel teachings and brings into alignment the essential equation “lex credendi” with “lex orandi”. This is the objective instrument of measurement.
    Clearly, in Naples, Washington, Bristol, Paris and elsewhere there are significant numbers of Roman Catholics who legitimately entertain serious doubts about the licitness of modern liturgy and its failure to inculcate appropriate norms, values and mores commensurate with being a Roman Catholic. There is ample evidence to show that The Latin Mass, observed in its optimal form, has far greater potential to nourish the immortal soul faithfully than its vernacular counterpart. There are surveys and other more descriptive studies which indicate how the NO service has contributed toward seriously flawed knowledge, understanding and practical application of The Catholic Faith. There is also plenty of anecdotal & individually experiential evidence too. Little wonder, therefore, that many Catholics would like to have the pre-1955 Latin Mass which would exclude behaviours and actions which are associated with modernist liturgical preferences. These have created ambiguities which have been exploited in the modern liturgy which the traditional liturgy has avoided altogether. Once these are mixed “mongrel-like” in The Latin Mass then we are once more on the road to liturgical confusion, contention and all the ultimate arguments about licitness and even, unfortunately, validity.

    These are some of the realities & issues facing us even now as we rejoice in the Neapolitan revival of The Latin Mass 1962 style.

  17. Jordan Potter says:

    John Paul said: I am simply stating that there have been other writers who have questioned the validity of the Novus Ordo, principally over the translation of “Pro Multis” in the Consecration.

    Yes, I’ve encountered that argument also. It doesn’t hold any water. It’s a serious problem that they mistranslated “pro multis,” but the mistranslation does not affect validity.

    I don’t question the validity myself, but I do believe that the Novus Ordo has had a less than positive effect on the Church, for many reasons well documented in multiple sources.

    I think the liturgical reform of the 1960s was botched big time, and that inevitably has had a negative effect on the Church. It was foreseen what would happen if they attempted such a wholesale reordering of the liturgical books, but the warnings were disregarded — and we’ve paid the price, I think.

    For myself, I get confused when I see praise for the New Mass simply on the basis that it comes from Rome, from Holy Mother Church, and therefore must be holy and good.

    I don’t think the Church has the ability to promulgate an unholy, invalid liturgy. But that doesn’t mean that the liturgy can’t suffer deformations. It’s ironic that the liturgical reformers wanted to free the liturgy from what they deemed encrustations and redundancies, because the product of their efforts at reform feels weighted down with quite a lot of encrustation, deformation, and superfluity (I’ve lost track of how many Eucharistic Prayers there are now — are we up to 30 or 40 now?).

    Still, the fact remains that the Pauline Missal is authentic and valid, and Jesus re-presents His Sacrifice through it. That’s holy and good, even if the “accidents” of the liturgy are often unsuitable or unworthy.

    If it really is holy and good, then what “gravitational pull” are those who comment on here really believe is necessary? Not just “nice to have,” but necessary?

    The Missal itself is a good thing, but what is usually deficient is the ars celebrandi. The traditional Mass can teach priests and laity about the things which were lost in the period of chaos and stupidity that erupted in the 1960s: things like reverence, a sense of God’s majesty and our unworthiness, a sense of fitting gestures and song.

    For Henry Edwards: Yes, last week during the discussion on whether there really are two different rites or not, more than one priest stated that both Masses express the same Sacrifice of Calvary.

    Any valid Eucharistic liturgy re-presents Calvary. Whether or not a liturgy is as effective in evoking that truth as it can be, that’s another question.

    Do we really believe both Masses express the same theology?

    I don’t think they express the same theology — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some theology is heretical or deficient or otherwise beyond the pale, but sometimes a difference in theology is an acceptable difference in emphasis and point of view. There are truths of the Catholic faith that are better communicated by the traditional Roman Missal, but other truths are better communicated by the reformed Roman Missal. Frankly, I find the traditional Missal to be more complete and balanced than the new Missal when it comes to expressing the Faith — with the new Missal, it often seems like there are certain Church teachings that we’d just rather not think about that much right now.