“…even if there were not a single ‘traditionalist’…”

His Hermeneuticalness picked up something on NLM which deserves some attention.

People are starting to pay attention to a preface written by His Eminence Antonio Card. Cañizares for the Spanish translation of Msgr. Nicola Bux excellent book La Riforma di Benedetto XVI: la liturgia tra innovazione e tradizione (Piemme, 2008).

I have the book and it is exceptionally good.

Card. Cañizares made good points in the preface.  Here is His Hermeneuticalness‘s take with my emphases and comments.

Even if there were not a single "traditionalist" …

The important book by Fr Nicola Bux, "The Reform of Benedict XVI" has been translated into Spanish and the new edition has a foreword by Cardinal Cañizares Llovera, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The preface itself is noteworthy and Gregor Kollmorgen has kindly provided a translation at NLM.

In one place, His Eminence speaks of the way in which the term "preconciliar" has been used as an insult "as if an abyss should be created between the "before" and the "after" the Council" and then says:

Today, thanks to the Motu Proprio, this situation is changing notably. And it is doing so in large part because intention of the Pope has not only been to satisfy the followers of Monsignor Lefevbre, nor to confine himself to respond to the just wishes of the faithful who feel attached, for various reasons, to the liturgical heritage represented by the Roman rite, but also, and in a special way, to open the liturgical richness of the Church to all the faithful, thus making possible the discovery of the treasures of the liturgical patrimony of the Church to those who still do not know it. How many times is the attitude of those who disdain them not due to anything other than this ignorance! Therefore, considered from this last aspect, the Motu Proprio makes sense beyond the presence or absence of conflicts: [here it comes...] even if there were not a single "traditionalist" whom to satisfy, this "discovery" would have been enough to justify the provisions of the Pope.

It is so heartening to hear such encouragement from the highest authority on the Liturgy besides the Holy Father himself, that the opening of the liturgical richness of the Church to the faithful by the celebration of the classical Roman Rite is something to be valued in itself for the good of souls, even aside from the provision of this form for those who legitimately ask for it.

Many young clergy will also be encouraged with these words from the Prefect:

How many priests have been called "backward" or "anticonciliar" because of the mere fact of celebrating in a solemn or pious manner or simply for fully obeying the rubrics! It is imperative to get out of this dialectic.

I hope that Fr Bux’s excellent book (which I have read in Italian) will soon be translated into English.

Let’s get at that again,… "even if there were not a single "traditionalist" whom to satisfy, this "discovery" would have been enough to justify the provisions of the Pope".

Many enemies of the Holy Father’s vision will claim that the provision of Summorum Pontificum were only given for those few benighted souls – probably with psychological problems – who cannot make the transition to the wonderful new reformed liturgy celebrated in "spirit of Vatican II" fullness. 

Of course they entirely ignore that a greater and greater percentage of people seeking the older forms are people born after the Novus Ordo was implemented. 

This merely confirms the fact that liberals always want you to deny the evidence of your senses and simply accept their premises.

On the other hand, some folks have been arguing that the provisions of Pope Benedict go far beyond the mere issue of reconciling the SSPX. 

I have been arguing that these provisions are an important stage in Pope Benedict’s "Marshall Plan" to renew Catholic identity.  

We must rediscover our treasures so as to have continuity as Catholics with both the past and the future.

To this end, as I have verified with some very smart priests versant on this topic, it is not entirely necessary that, in a parish, people first have to make requests for the older Mass.  Pastors would be acting responsibily and in line with the indications and provisions of the Vicar of Christ were they simply to introduce, cum serena pace, celebrations of Holy Mass also with the 1962 Missale Romanum.

His Eminence Dario Card. Castrillon, President of the Pont. Comm. "Ecclesia Dei" has said as much in comments.  Now the Prefect of the CDW is indicating the same.

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48 Responses to “…even if there were not a single ‘traditionalist’…”

  1. Irish says:

    I love this: “How many priests have been called “backward” or “anticonciliar” because of the mere fact of celebrating in a solemn or pious manner or simply for fully obeying the rubrics! It is imperative to get out of this dialectic.”

    His Eminence hits the nail on the head–the whole thing was some crazy Hegelian experiment foisted upon us by progressives.

  2. Trevor says:

    “How many priests have been called “backward” or “anticonciliar” because of the mere fact of celebrating in a solemn or pious manner or simply for fully obeying the rubrics! It is imperative to get out of this dialectic.”

    The young priests will help with that…

  3. cel says:

    “How many priests have been called “backward” or “anticonciliar” because of the mere fact of celebrating in a solemn or pious manner or simply for fully obeying the rubrics! It is imperative to get out of this dialectic.”

    Hmmm, this would appear to be a very different take from Card. Mahoney in his list of problems that the Church faces from not too long ago.

    Being a recent convert from an evangelical church, I am most interested in how there seems to be a steady, not huge but steady stream of people converting to the faith who all tend to be on the more orthodox side of things. Setting aside those who convert because of family or marriage, I have never run into or even heard of a cold-turkey convert who swam the Tiber because they loved where the “Spirit of Vat II” was leading the Church and they wanted to be a part of it. I suspect that once this “Benedictine Renewal” is in full force say in 10 or 20 years, and also given the secularization of our nation and the effect that is having on independent churches, the steady trickle of converts is going to turn into a flood.

    Now is the time to plant seeds.

  4. Thomas in MD says:

    “Anteconciliar” might be better than “anticonciliar”! (rim shot)

  5. Chironomo says:

    This whole topic keeps referring me back to the comments by Cardinal Mahony last week… that the “younger generation (of priests) is openly questioning the orthodoxy of the older priests.” That he framed this comment as a problem with the younger priests demonstrates very clearly the fear that is growing within the progressive Church of a “built-in” timer on this particular progressive movement, as those who hold to it get older and older, and few come in behind them to take up the cause.

    We are in that 10 year window where the generation of Catholics born after Vatican II come into positions of power within the Church and are beginning to exert an influence on what seemed to be an inpenetrable front. It may not be overstating things to say we are in the midst of a dramatic change that we don’t really recognize yet. We also don’t know how it will turn out….but I at least am certain that things will not stay the same…

  6. Mike T says:

    This process of rediscovery has been repeated by the People of God.

    It certainly occurred in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. The number of
    living people who could remember pre-exile temple worship was almost
    certainly zero. It was not nostalgia that drew people back. Authentic
    worship has its own magnetism.

    Earlier — in the times of the kingdom of Judah — there was a similar
    rediscovery. (I am writing now without a bible and invite correction –
    please leap in!) I believe this occurred during the reign of the “just”
    king Josiah, after the long and regrettable reign of Manasses.

    We all have to be wary of “disdain.” In the same way that disdain for
    anteconciliar worship was a poisoning influence on postconciliar
    liturgical development, the restoration can also be jeopardized by
    an unhealthy disdain for everything that arose over the last 44 years,
    bad and good alike.

  7. LCB says:

    Fr. Z,

    While reading this I noticed how the enemies of tradition WITHIN the Church sound almost IDENTICAL to the enemies of the Church itself who are OUTSIDE the Church:

    The Orthodox and Traditional are deemed, “Anti-conciliar” and “pre-conciliar” and “behind the times” and “a relic of the past” and need to “udpate” and “modernize” and “get with the program” by ending their “backwards” ways and being open to “new ideas” and the “new way of doing things.” If they don’t “modernize” then they will be “left in the past” and so they need to “change” and “adapt to the values of the current era.”

    And yet, the same words essentially are used for a the Church as a whole. The Church is “behind the times” etc, and just needs to change.

    When the enemies of the Church sound identical to a certain faction WITHIN the Church, and seem to call for the exact same changes… well, that’s a lot of quacking for it not to be a duck.

  8. LCB says:

    It’s also worth noting that the enemies of tradition and orthodoxy within the Church always seem to share the same disdain for the Pope and the Magisterium, no matter who the Pope is or what the Magisterium is teaching.

    Just like the enemies of the Church who are outside the Church.

  9. TJM says:

    This is an excellent statement. Tom

  10. Ricky Vines says:

    I guess the negative connotation associated with the older liturgical forms came in the context of
    the liturgical reform. If the older form needed reform, then it must have been deformed. But
    now, the appreciation for them is returning. I personally like the more solemn athmosphere. It
    is truly focused on worship. Sometimes, the newer form is used for other purposes besides worship
    e.g. catechesis.

    Furthermore, there are other liturgical rites in the Catholic Church e.g. Byzantine, Alexandrian,
    Syriac, Armenian, Maronite and Chaldean that are just as dignified and valid not to mention awesome
    and reverent. Nowadays, when one can drive to other churches easily, one can also savor the rich
    diversity in Catholic worhship.

  11. Stan says:

    “This merely confirms the fact that liberals always want you to deny the evidence of your senses and simply accept their premises.bably with psychological problems – who cannot make the transition to the wonderful new reformed liturgy celebrated in “spirit of Vatican II” fullness.”

    Liberals aren’t the only folks who have advanced that argument. In my large Texas diocese, conservatives have insisted that the TLM and Summorum Pontificum apply only to Catholics who “cannot make the transition to the wonderful new reformed liturgy celebrated in “spirit of Vatican II” fullness.” ”

    Conservatives — priests and laymen — in my diocese are the staunchest opponents of the TLM and Summorum Pontificum. [I find that a little hard to believe, frankly.]

  12. Luis says:

    “If we truly believe that the Eucharist is really the “source and summit of Christian life” – as the Second Vatican Council reminds us – we cannot ADMIT that it is celebrated in an unworthy manner.”

    That should be PERMIT. NO? “Admitir” in that context suggests to permit or allow. (or not permit or not allow)

  13. Berthold says:

    Interestingly, another passage of the Cardinal’s Preface suggests using the Extraordinary Form in parishes on days where it has special features lost in the Novus Ordo. One of the examples given is the Vigil of Pentecost. In the 1962 Missal this is, however, a totally normal Mass because its numerous readings and the blessing of the font had been suppressed in the 1950s.
    So, it seems that the Prefect of the Congregation of Liturgy does not only advocate the wider use of the 1962 Missal (in itself a wonderful development) but also suggests a rethinking of some of the reforms done in the years leading up to Vatican II. [Keep in mind what I posted in another entry. In the new printing of the 2002MR there is included an "extended Vigil" of Pentecost. Also, when the 2002MR first came out, we found a restored Vigil of Ascension and also, during Lent, "prayers over the people".]

  14. Edward Sopp says:

    “This merely confirms the fact that liberals always want you to deny the evidence of your senses and simply accept their premises.”

    The quote of the century. So succinct, yet so darn TRUE. Its been a long while since anyone provided such an adequate quip to describe the liberal mentality. I am going to borrow this thought in my own discussions with people.

  15. Edward says:

    “Conservatives — priests and laymen — in my diocese are the staunchest opponents of the TLM and Summorum Pontificum.” – Stan

    Stan -

    Those arent really conservatives you speak of. They are more adquately called Neo-Conservatives. Neo-Conservatism is nothing more than one of the many shades of liberalism with its own ideological bent.

  16. Thank you Fr. Z for bringing our intention to this.

    Thank God for our Holy Father, and prelates like Cardinal Cañizares.

    It is too bad not all currently embrace this treasure of the ancient liturgy. As you have said time and again,the “biological” solution will be the only way this will be implemented in all quarters.

    Far too many clerics and laity act as if the church started in 1965 when the council ended (I say council singular because to these poor misguided souls it is the only council and anything that came before or after it –like S.P. is anathema).

  17. inillotempore says:

    * attention

  18. Southern Orders says:

    With the “reform of the reform” it seems that the vernacular was universally embraced when the first wave of reform occurred in the mid sixty’s. What we need with the OF Mass is more of the reverence of the EF Mass and this could be accomplished even in a vernacular version the Mass by either translating the EF Mass into the vernacular and allowing this as an option or, simply re-orienting the rubrics of the OF Mass to allow for ad orientem worship. In this case, the penitential rite could become the prayers at the foot of the altar, the silent, private prayers of the priest as he approaches to kiss the altar could be added. The Epistle and Gospel sides of the altar could re-instituted for the Missal. “The Lord be with you” could be placed prior to the collects as in the EF form, the priest could kiss the altar each time he faces the people and people could receive Holy Communion kneeling. This kind of reform of the OF Mass, while minor would go a long way in re-instituting awe and reverence as well as making sure people understand that the prayers of the Mass are worship of God and are directed to HIM not them. It would also show the hermeneutic of continuity between the two forms of the Mass. Just a thought.

  19. Tominellay says:

    …agreeing with Edward Sopp @11:53 am…

  20. Michael J says:

    Ricky, your statement “If the older form needed reform..” touches on something I have been trying to figure out for years. I have repeatedly asked, but nobody has been able to demonstrate the truth of the statement that the older form needed reform at all.

    Curious that this premise has been so widely accepted without any objective proof

  21. Clement says:

    “Conservatives — priests and laymen — in my diocese are the staunchest opponents of the TLM and Summorum Pontificum.”

    Stan,

    I have experienced the same thing in a diocese I lived in for several years.

    I know its hard to fathom this, but there is some evidence for it.

    These “conservatives”, seem to think that the Novus Ordo Mass is exactly what the Church wants and is what is in the mind of the Holy Father as the penultimate of current Roman liturgys.
    They unfortunately seem to believe that having another form of the Roman Rite available, creates division amongst the faithful.
    Thus I have been told by several “conservative” priests and laymen.

  22. Joan Ellen says:

    Today, in the Church are…those opposed to the Traditional Mass (EFM) AND those opposed to the Modern Mass (OF). An either/or way of thinking.

    Thinking in a both/and way…the EFM AND the OF in English AND in Latin can be unifying for an individual, for others, for the Church.

    Worship, is an intimate relationship with God. The Canons Regular of St. John Cantius offer all three Masses, most reverently. – the Canons must understand this intimate relationship well. http://www.canons-regular.org/go

    Opposing abuses in any form of Mass is understood. Opposing a canonical Mass is not our right, is it? Attending the form which is in concert with our relationship with God is a whole different matter.

    Sorry, but this is the way I have had to sort/separate the Mass question.

  23. Charles says:

    “Conservatives — priests and laymen — in my diocese are the staunchest opponents of the TLM and Summorum Pontificum.”

    Stan,
    Many of us in the trenches have redirected our fight away from the liberal front. The use of the word “conservative” might be a bit misleading. For the point of this post, I will define conservatives as those who maintain orthodoxy with regards to the the Church’s moral teachings. Having stated the above, I am encountering the same hostility from conservatives in my diocese as well. They can no longer hide from the issue of the EF liturgy because Pope Benedict has keenly removed the need for permission from the equation. Now many “conservatives” are showing their unwillingness to engage Vat. II through the lens of “continuity” and instead are attempting to codify all of the innovations of the last 40 years by claiming that they have become custom. I understand the need for a pastoral implementation of restoration, but I also know when I am getting the “run around”. It is imperative that we continue to engage the battle with reason, traditon, and charity, avoiding the exclusive appeal to authority whenever possible.The best example of this tactic is Pope Benedicts example and writings about the distribution of communion on the tongue to those kneeling. Our ability to influence the conservatives, priests and laity alike, will determine much of the time frame for the Pope’s “Marshall plan”.

  24. Ricky Vines says:

    MichaelJ: It was deduced from the Liturgical Reform Movement which probably should have been named
    differently because it disparages the older form as being deformed – just like the Protestant Reformation in
    the Church. If memory serves, the movement was trying to capture the original spirit of the liturgy
    particularly the Mass,and correct me if I am wrong because, it\’s been decades.

    So, what\’s a good term to describe a return to the orginal sense? renewal? rebirth? I agree,
    reform had this negative connotation and may not be what the Church intended. I am sure the experts
    in Liturgy can provide a better answer.

  25. shadrach says:

    This tendency for orthodox Catholics (often devotees of Pope John Paul II) to define various practices of the last 20 years as traditions is widespread. These traditions are folksy traditions and their supporters are often diametrically opposed to the extraordinary form. I have seen this quite often, especially in educational institutions.

  26. stigmatized says:

    first i read yesterday about canon 214…and now this…but if you have requested mass in your rite and have been entirely ignored then canon 214 and the reforms of benedict really have no effect on you. they are just there for you to look at like a piece of pottery in a museum case. you see it through the glass, but you cannot actually use it.

  27. Conservatives — priests and laymen — in my diocese are the staunchest opponents of the TLM and Summorum Pontificum. [I find that a little hard to believe, frankly.]

    I don’t know about conservitaves,per se but, out of every 10 elderly people I approach about the return of the TLM 8 or 9 do not want to return to the ancient usage of liturgy.

    My own parents grew up in the 1940′s and 1950′s and they feel the same way (They prefer reverence and attend a traditional N.O. church, receive Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling –yes that is still done in some places) and do not want to “go back”.

    What was going on in illo tempore ? Anyone over 60 years old have any idea about why people feel this way ? Some people have animosity about “going back” — has the “smoke of satan” really blinded so many souls ? I don’t get it.

  28. Liam says:

    Well, finally, some people appear to be awakening, post-SP, that the resistance to a revival of the EF is not anywhere near the exclusive domain of chanceries and liberal/progressive Catholics, but also rooted fairly deeply (all the more deeply because it often goes unspoken) among many conservative Catholics (at least in the US – I won’t speak about elsewhere). My parents’ pastor of over 3 decades was staunchly conservative – nay, perhaps the most notoriously conservative pastor in his very large diocese – but had very little patience with traditionalist liturgy until an assistant came in recent years to help out, et cet. Mark Shea has repeatedly drawn ire from traditionalists when he matter-of-factly makes clear he’s not attracted to traditional liturgy, and in years past Amy Welborn did likewise when she was of that mood. While my elderly parents are very devout and conservative Catholics, both would find the EF unwelcome (and my father was an altar boy at a German national parish in the 1930s, which he fondly recalls still). Many traditionalists spend a lot of time misdirecting their energy towards “enemies” and often in the process overlook a potentially larger and more difficult (because, again, its more silent) audience they should be preparing to engage. And the rules of engagement for an audience that is more passive are very different than for active opponents. Passive audiences note if there’s an immediacy of bile and tune out wicked fast. Most Catholics, unlike like us combox warriors, not only don’t want to argue about liturgy but don’t want to witness people arguing about it – St Blog’s comboxes disproportionately attract enthusiasts, so self-selection grossly distorts perceptions about the PIPs at large (this is why, even when bloggers gain occasional traction on an issue or two, prelates feel comfortable in ignoring them for the most part – the prelates know well the habits of the bulk of the flock). Modulate accordingly.

  29. Mike says:

    The objection to the EF by some older folks may not necessarily be surprising.

    If you look at how the EF was celebrated in lots of parishes (not all) places prior to the reforms (think 20-minute Masses, even on Sundays), the OF was an improvement. Prayers were spoken, hymns were sung, a homily was said and people actually UNDERSTOOD what was going on on in the Mass, as opposed to a priest mumbling and going through various motions while people said their own prayers and received Communion at the appropriate time (after some bells were rung – SOUNDS almost a Pavlovian reaction).

    I’ll caveat this by saying that I’m 42, so I don’t even remember a Mass before the 1970 Missal. However, these are stories I’ve heard and things I’ve read. An example comes from the book “Why Catholics Can’t Sing” in which the author (whose name escapes me at the moment) talks of going to a Mass that was supposed to be a low Mass, but when the priest announced that the next Mass would be a High Mass instead, people (including the author’s family) left. That type of mentality existed among a number of the lay faithful and the clergy.

    I’m guessing that some older, more orthodox people remember that type of approach to Mass. People who remember the rushed, mumbling Masses are likely the ones who would hate to see the EF used regularly, not because they don’t appreciate that liturgy, but because they’re afraid it will turn into another rushed mumblefest.

    I think it comes down to saying the black – WITH REVERENCE – and doing the red – WITH REVERENCE – no matter the rite, the liturgy or the form. A rushed Mass where the priest “goes through the motions” is spiritually unsatisfying. PERIOD.

  30. Ottaviani says:

    Mike: An example comes from the book “Why Catholics Can’t Sing” in which the author (whose name escapes me at the moment) talks of going to a Mass that was supposed to be a low Mass, but when the priest announced that the next Mass would be a High Mass instead, people (including the author’s family) left. That type of mentality existed among a number of the lay faithful and the clergy.

    The book you refer to is by Thomas Day.

    I think the incident that you have quoted reflects more on the Irish mentality of “low mass only”, viewing the Solemn High Mass as elitist and more of a concert-like affair. Such a thought became ingrained into them during the penal days when Irish Catholics risked life and death to hear masses in caves – and low mass was the norm. Protestant services on the other hand has music.

    I don’t think this reflects how the Novus Ordo is supposedly better than the traditional rite. Even today, my friend who visited Knock recently said that a sizeable amount of the Irish Catholics (mostly those who grew up with the traditional mass) would still prefer an ordinary form mass without music to one with it.

  31. Mike: People who remember the rushed, mumbling Masses are …

    My experience with the old Mass as a young adult dates back to 1956. Before the post Vatican reforms set in, as an itinerant student and young academic I had attended the TLM regularly in 9 different parishes in 4 different dioceses in 3 regions (southeast, midwest, northeast) of the country.

    I never ever saw a single one of these rushed mumbling Sunday low Masses. Even though in the late 1960s we started hearing these stories from agenda-pushing circuit-riding liturgists, telling us these things to our face even though our memories of the opposite were still fresh. I think these stories have now been repeated with the same agenda so often that people now believe them, even some who were old enough to have been there. It’s like the palpably false urban myth that everyone believes anyway.

    At any rate, the low EF Masses I’d attended in recent years have all taken at least 42 minutes, about the same as the shortest Sunday low Mass I recall in the old days.

    Actually, the only 20-odd minute Masses I’ve heard in recent years have all been OF Masses.

  32. Liam :
    With all due respect, if you don’t like WDTPRS there are plenty of other blogs out there.
    Nice bloviating…maybe I’m dense(probably) but who are you defending and who are you in solidarity with ?
    Your comment at “St. Blog’s combox” was kind of like the “go to” command in early computer programming: “spaghetti code” that goes nowhere…..

  33. Clement says:

    My parents who grew up in the 40′s and 50′s never recall a “rushed” Low Mass.

    They both quite vividly recall very reverent and slow paced liturgies at almost every one of the Sunday and weekday Mass’s they assisted at.

    My Mom lived in a small semi-rural town on Long Island and she does not recall assisting at a High Mass, but the Sunday and weekday Low Mass that she remembers, always lasted at least one hour.
    My Dad attended the Dominican run Providence College, Rhode Island, in the 1950′s and was exposed to High Masses and low Masses which he said where never rushed.

    God bless.

  34. Phil Steinacker says:

    Thank you, Henry. You validated my own experience, my memory of it, and my conclusion as to what is going on with all these stories about 20 minute Masses I never saw or served as an altar boy. I didn’t cover the span you described, but by the time I got to Catholic high school I was a seasoned “veteran” of regular Masses at three parishes, with a few more thrown in as fairly frequent visits. I also attended 4 different Catholic grade schools (yes, I was a BAD kid – I moved – or was moved – a lot). By college (also atholic) I had begun to add to my range of experiences by attending Mass at other Catholic colleges and a couple seminaries (when we used to have two).

    The other story I always heard was about the little old ladies saying their Rosaries during Mass. Yes, I remember them, but the liberal commentators would have us believe their numbers were legion. That is simply not true, not withstanding normally occurring exceptions. Besides, isn’t concerning yourself with how someone else prays during the Mass merely a liberal version of the trad liturgy police the liberals complain are so uncharitable?

    What’s up with that? Frankly, it’s nobody’s business to worry about folks saying the Roasary during Mass. As I recall, the Church made available some pamphlets on devotion that encouraged saying the Rosary during Mass. Understand, I don’t intend here to take a position on it one way or the other; I’m only suggesting these attacks – and attacks are most certainly what they are – on the prayer activity of others is not only based on exaggeration and falsehood, they also are as uncharitable and judgmental as any conservative has ever been accused of being.

    Also, like you, the ONLY 20 minute Mass I’ve ever seen was the NO.

    As for older folks who don’t want “to go back”, I’ve encountered them, too.
    However, many of these have explained they were once upset to lose the TLM but eventually adjusted, now preferring the NO.

    There are a couple ideas that might explain it, and may work differently with various folks. I suspect that many of the faithful were not like my mother, who taught us kids how to use a Missal properly so we not only knew how to follow the Mass (and knew where the priest was in the course of events), but that we also prayed the Mass. I have come to discover that most Catholics from that time did NOT get this exposure drilled into them like I did. This raises the question of how grounded many of this generation actually were in the TLM fright from the start of their young lives.

    For other, like Christians surviving the Muslim invasions (don’t take this comparison too literally, please), the adjustment to changes they didn’t ask for eventually leads to a kind of passive surrender, to the point that a kind of Stockholm syndrome sets in. I don’t mean to apply that famous diagnosis in actuality to this situation, but as a general dynamic, it’s just so much easier to go along with changes when they’ve been made precisely to obtain your passive cooperation. Now, it seems too much trouble to go back, especially when you’ve been worked over for years by the propaganda designed to forestall such “revisionism.”

  35. Phil Steinacker says:

    inillotempore,

    As often as you comment here I’m surprised you don’t recognize Liam from the sufficient number of posts he’s made so far that fully reveal his sentiments. In any case, you’ve nailed it, my friend.

    I will add, however, that Liam has written his views much more cleverly this time. He has shifted the focus of his remarks to avoid mentioning overtly his intense distaste for the TLM, the beliefs and principles held by most of the regular denizens of WDTPRS, and Father Z’s well-articulated positions on the TLM and his clarifications as to what Vatican II documents actually say and how they should be read and applied.

    Let’s just say that Liam is not a stalwart defender of the hermeneutic of continuity, are you, Liam?

  36. Liam says:

    Phil

    Actually, I have been defending the H of C before the phrase was invented against the polar ends of the spectrum that actually argue there was discontinuity.

    I don’t have an intense distaste for the TLM or its enthusiasts btw. I do have an intense distaste for over-argumentative rhetoric, be it progressive, centrist or traditionalist because it usually subverts the goals of the arguer. If one reads me carefully, you will see that is my consistent point. I am not a cheerleader for the like-minded.

  37. Not Getting Creaky Just Yet says:

    “I suspect that many of the faithful were not like my mother, who taught us kids how to use a Missal properly so we not only knew how to follow the Mass (and knew where the priest was in the course of events), but that we also prayed the Mass. I have come to discover that most Catholics from that time did NOT get this exposure drilled into them like I did.”
    This describes me pretty well, too: my mom used her missal but other than pointing to the page we were now at–when I got lost b/c it was time to change sections–she never explained it to me at all. She says that even tho’ she majored in Latin, she always read the translation pages, I assume to pray along, even though she did learn the Latin in college. The habit was formed. But I never learned how to use the missal, and only recently have I begun to figure out what was going on with all those place-changes when I was 6 and 7 years old.
    OT, my wishlist:
    Having a little bit of Spanish, I can see the differences sometimes between what is prayed at the Spanish Mass (OF) and the English Mass (OF) in the Missalette. I wish we had that better English translation. I wish that our choir wasn’t determined to find and sing *every one* of the most hideous songs in the Glory and Praise–it’s like they’re trying to give it a long, affectionate goodbye or something. Let’s just bury the thing and be done already if we’re getting a new hymnal. And let’s bury the old translation and be done, too.
    Also on my wish list: unify the calendars!

    Best to all.

  38. Mike Williams says:

    I certainly wouldn’t have called it common practice, but I well remember a few priests from my pre-VII altar boy days who raced through Mass, and whose Latin during the parts I could hear, such as the prayers at the foot of the altar, was incomprensible. One was a parish favorite in many ways– he was perhaps the best confessor I ever had– but he wasn’t aone for allowing much contemplatation during Mass. So it did happen now and then, at least.

    Count my now quite elderly parents among those for whom a return to the EF holds no allure whatsoever. They are fortunate to belong to parish where the music is traditional and quite good, and the NO celebrated reverently. They both much prefer it to the TLM, although they do feel the old Mass ought to be available, and have gone with me a couple of times. But they prefer the Novus Ordo and support Pope Benedict’s “reform of the reform.”

  39. Clement says:

    Oh, and by the by, my parents, who are 75 and 70 years of age, assist exclusively at the TLM, after 30 years of both, being quite literally abused by their local parish pastor, who absolutely refuses to offer the TLM, or refuses any Latin words spoken in his church, even though he is 75 and learned it in seminary.

    They completely embraced the Gregorian Rite of Mass after it became available every Sunday 5 miles from where they live.
    They where just waiting and praying for that to happen and it was a very simple transition for them.

  40. RBrown says:

    Well, finally, some people appear to be awakening, post-SP, that the resistance to a revival of the EF is not anywhere near the exclusive domain of chanceries and liberal/progressive Catholics, but also rooted fairly deeply (all the more deeply because it often goes unspoken) among many conservative Catholics (at least in the US – I won’t speak about elsewhere). My parents’ pastor of over 3 decades was staunchly conservative – nay, perhaps the most notoriously conservative pastor in his very large diocese – but had very little patience with traditionalist liturgy until an assistant came in recent years to help out, et cet. Mark Shea has repeatedly drawn ire from traditionalists when he matter-of-factly makes clear he’s not attracted to traditional liturgy, and in years past Amy Welborn did likewise when she was of that mood. While my elderly parents are very devout and conservative Catholics, both would find the EF unwelcome (and my father was an altar boy at a German national parish in the 1930s, which he fondly recalls still). Many traditionalists spend a lot of time misdirecting their energy towards “enemies” and often in the process overlook a potentially larger and more difficult (because, again, its more silent) audience they should be preparing to engage. And the rules of engagement for an audience that is more passive are very different than for active opponents. Passive audiences note if there’s an immediacy of bile and tune out wicked fast. Most Catholics, unlike like us combox warriors, not only don’t want to argue about liturgy but don’t want to witness people arguing about it – St Blog’s comboxes disproportionately attract enthusiasts, so self-selection grossly distorts perceptions about the PIPs at large (this is why, even when bloggers gain occasional traction on an issue or two, prelates feel comfortable in ignoring them for the most part – the prelates know well the habits of the bulk of the flock). Modulate accordingly.
    Comment by Liam

    I agree with much of what you said. A few comments:

    1. I take OF to mean “vernacular versus populum”. I realize that the OF can be said in Latin ad orientem, but 99% of the time (a conservative estimate) it’s not. Although I think it needs some adjustment (e.g., the inadequate Offertory and 2d canon), IMHO, if all the OF vernacular versus populum masses were converted to Latin ad orientem (with the First Reading and Gospel in parishes being permitted in the vernacular), in a year 90% of the present problems in the Church would have disappeared.

    2. Because for me OF means “vernacular versus populum”, it has to include the various inappropriate OF accretions, including but not limited to: contrived gestures replacing rubrics, grinning celebrants, tambourines, guitars, trumpets, flutes, and the pathetic selection of “songs”.

    3. I definitely agree that conservatives often oppose any return to either the EF or Latin ad orientem OF liturgy. There are various reasons for this, among which is that Conservatives often prefer the status quo.

    Further, many conservatives seem not to understand the relationship between liturgy and Catholic life, esp. morals (JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger seemed much in disagreement about this). They speak of the pastoral success of the vernacular versus populum mass while not understanding that pastoral success has to mean more than just the people like it.

    By definition, pastoral success includes fidelity to Catholic teaching, vocations to the priesthood and religious life, and solid marriages.

    4. The strength of the EF is the solemn high mass and the private mass. The weakness is the public low mass, but to a great extent this weakness is eliminated by use of the missa dialogata. I have a hand missal from 1958 which recommends it. I think if its practice had been widespread before the Council, the liturgical shipwreck of the past 40 years might not have happened.

    [I believe I have mentioned this before... please state at the beginning the name of the person you are addressing and cite only the pertinent part of the text. Keep the clutter down and make it easy for people you are addressing to see they are being addressed. - Fr. Z]

  41. Martin J says:

    Clement: “My parents who grew up in the 40’s and 50’s never recall a “rushed” Low Mass.

    They both quite vividly recall very reverent and slow paced liturgies at almost every one of the Sunday and weekday Mass’s they assisted at.

    My Mom lived in a small semi-rural town on Long Island and she does not recall assisting at a High Mass, but the Sunday and weekday Low Mass that she remembers, always lasted at least one hour”.

    I don’t mean to mock your mother’s memories but I really can’t understand how a weekday low Mass could possibly have lasted over an hour. During a daily low Mass there was no sermon and not usually a long line of communicants. I played the organ for the weekday Mass at my parish during the summers when I was in high school from 1959-1964. The nun who was the organist and choir director went on retreat for six weeks after school finished at the end of June and for a reason I never quite understood, I was asked to fill in for her. Our pastor insisted that the 7am. daily Mass be a Missa Cantata and that’s why the necessity for an organist. Even though it was not the ordinary low Mass, it never took more than 30-35 minutes. I know this for a fact because during those summer months I worked at the local Catholic hospital and had to be at work by 8am. It was a 15 minute walk from the church to the hospital and I always had time to stop at a bakery on my way for a fresh made pastry and a cup of coffee. To make that daily Mass last over an hour, the priest and the choir (oftentimes the choir meant just me trying to sing as well as play the organ)would have to have been moving in extra slow motion or taken several cat-naps!
    I have no desire to return to the EF of the Mass. From the time I was about ten years old, I regularly attended daily Mass. I knew very well how to use my missal. My parents and the sisters at school taught me how. However, I always felt a bit of a disconnect no matter how hard I tried to really engage my mind and heart with what was happening at the altar. In my parish, on any given Sunday, it was not uncommon to see people lighting votive candles during the Mass; others reading books on the lives of the Saints or assorted novena pamphlets; dozens praying the rosary; and the majority not even following along with a missal. There was no sense of a united community gathered together in a corporate act of worship.
    Once the Dialogue Mass was introduced in our diocese in the late 1950′s and hymns allowed to be sung by the congregation, the whole atmosphere at Mass began to change. Most of the parishoners took to the changes eagerly although some resisted. Naturally, I can’t speak of what was in other peoples’ minds, but to me it was as if some kind of lethargy had been cast away and Mass became interesting once again, not just an obligation; it evoked cooperation and gave scope for intelligent, enthusiastic participation. When the OF was introduced in 1970 in my diocese, I honestly did not notice that much of a difference. Yes, some of the prayers were eliminated but that made sense to me since I never could understand the reason for all the repetitions. I loved the OF from the beginning. I have attended the EF perhaps half a dozen times in the last ten years and derived no greater spiritual benefit from it than I do at my regular OF Mass. Having said that, I am happy that the EF is now more available to those who want it. Hopefully, as the Holy Father stated, there will be a mutual enrichment between the two forms of the Mass and that those people who have basically dug a line in the sand and want no changes whatsoever to the form of the Mass they prefer, will not resist that enrichment in whatever shape it takes.

  42. Michael J says:

    Mike,
    I do not deny your memory of a priest “whose Latin during the parts I could hear, such as the prayers at the foot of the altar, was incomprensible”, but I do wonder why you think it important.

    Who do you suppose the Priest is addressing when he recites (mumbling or otherwise) the Prayers at the foot of the Altar?

  43. RBrown says:

    [I believe I have mentioned this before… please state at the beginning the name of the person you are addressing and cite only the pertinent part of the text. Keep the clutter down and make it easy for people you are addressing to see they are being addressed. – Fr. Z]
    Comment by RBrown

    His name is listed at the bottom of his comments, which I quoted.

  44. RBrown says:

    Fr Z,

    I often try to edit the comments before responding, sometimes breaking them part. His comments were so dense (and maybe a bit redundant) that editing didn’t seem an option. I didn’t know whether to quote the entire post or nothing at all, with simply his name.

    I don’t know–maybe it would have been better just to list his name.

  45. Phil: There are a couple ideas that might explain it, and may work differently with various folks.

    In addition to the two possibilities you mention, I wonder how many Catholics of a certain generation might feel like the quite orthodox older priest in an account I heard. A fellow priest asked him why he was antipathetic to even hearing about the return of the TLM, when he seemed just the type who might embrace it.

    He replied that the TLM had been the great love of his life, the reason he’d gone to the seminary, and that the day he first celebrated it the happiest day of his life. Then when not long thereafter the Mass of his life was (in effect) outlawed, it was like his heart and soul had been torn out, with the thing he’d lived for no longer allowed to him, never to be experienced again, and purportedly replaced by such a pale imitation as for every day to be a fresh wound.

    But now, years later and a tolerable accommodation made, he cannot bear to contemplate voluntarily going back up the road he was forced to travel down with such pain and heartache. So please, he said, at least allow me the consolation of hearing no more about it.

  46. Clement says:

    Martin J,

    I asked my Mom about the one hour weekday Low Mass.

    She informed me that the priest always gave a sermon at these and offered the Mass very slowly.
    Though it was a relatively small town, there were, according to my Mother, around 80-90 people assisting.

    I am sorry to hear of your dislike for the Mass of All Ages.

    It is the only reason I came back to the Church.

    Ut Prosim.

  47. Therese says:

    As to the question regarding Catholics least/most likely to support the EF:

    In conversations I have found that those who have ACTUALLY READ the Vatican II documents are untroubled by the return of the EF.

    Those who have not read these documents, or who merely listened to a rehash of them from another source, have been very upset by recent developments and tend to react in fear.

  48. Olsep says:

    Very interesting story. Thanks for posting.