Over at the liberal US Catholic site a writer named Bryan Cones has a little nutty about the Pontifical Mass in Washington DC.
I’ll add some emphases and comments as I read along with you.
I predict clichés.
A ridiculous mountain of red silk
Thursday, April 29, 2010
By Bryan Cones
I’ve been holding back all week for fear of stirring up a hornet’s nest, but my only response to the Latin Mass celebrated last Saturday at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington has to be: Really? Seriously? [A wordsmith, this fellow! Does anyone know him, btw?] (You can read the fawning CNS coverage of "ancient chants and pomp, splendor and majesty" here.)
Who thought it was a good idea to dress up a bishop in a cappa magna [The Catholic Church actually came up with that one. Futhermore, the cappa magna is used by bishops also in newer form of Mass. Take a look at the Caeremoniale Episcoporum.] and parade him around triumphantly in celebration of [get this…] what Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa, Oklahoma referred to as "the fifth anniversary of the ascension of Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of Peter" [Ummm… it was. That what the occasion was. It was the 5th anniversary since the solemn inauguration of Pope Benedict’s pontificate. Is that too hard?] while the church [Nooo… perhaps the writer and his friends.] is in such a profound crisis of confidence in its leadership? Ascension to the throne, eh? Are we speaking of the "servant of the servants of God" here or the Emperor Augustus? [So, the writer has a problem with what he perceives as, what, "triumphalism"? "beauty"? "dignity"?]
Now is not the time for the "church militant" to be trying to pass itself off as the "church triumphant," especially when so many princes of the church seem hell-bent on steering the Bark of Peter onto the rocks. (I don’t know what the plans are for his throne.) Remember that the original presider for this "celebration" was supposed to be Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former head of the Congregation for Clergy, who had to withdraw because he wrote a repulsive letter to a French bishop congratulating him for shielding an abusive priest from the civil law. [Better informed readers may have a more complete idea of what happened in the case of that letter to that French bishop.]
And I have to ask: If we’re going to get stuck on a particular period in church history and its liturgy, does it have to be the 16th century? [This was done according to the books in force in 1962. What people saw was therefore the Mass of the Second Vatican Council.] It was hardly a time of–how to put it?–liturgical modesty, [What does that mean? What would "liturgical modesty" be? A more or less "cringing" liturgy?] much less the "noble simplicity" that is, after all, the historical hallmark of the Roman rite. [But… but… what happened in the Shrine was precisely the Roman liturgy.] Unless His Excellency is going to wrap that cappa magna around his waist and start washing feet, as Jesus did in John’s gospel. [Ahhh… there we have it! "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor?" John 12:5. You knew it had to be in here somewhere. Is it possible that in consenting to be the celebrant for the people who attended (and watched through technology), Bp. Slattery did "wash feet"? I think the people in that Shrine have been the most oppressed group in the Church for decades. These have been anawim in the Church, marginalized savagely by liberals for a very long time.]
It’s one thing to seek the mystery presumably embodied in ancient forms, but I hardly see how frippery of this magnitude glorifies God, who has no need of such things. [That is probably because the writer has a rather narrow experience.] In fact, when sackcloth should be the defining couture, [There is, without question, time for sackcloth. I also think that time is now. But not during a Pontifical Mass. Perhaps before the Mass. Perhaps after.] silk is a stumbling block and an obstacle to the proclamation of the gospel. [Hmmm… can he back that up? Based on what evidence? Or is this merely his, what, wishful thinking? "I hope they fail!" Is that what the writer is really saying here?] If anything, the sex abuse crisis is a call to a renewed humility.
So I still think this question needs an answer: Without reference to the reformed liturgy, [I have no idea what that is supposed to mean…] how did Saturday’s "solemn high pontifical Mass in the extraordinary form" bear witness to the kingdom of God Jesus announced? [Good question.]
Can you answer the question at the end? After his insights it was meant to be a crushing blow. It wasn’t, but pretty much by accident he asked a good question.
It would probably be better to do so here than in the liberal viper pit of US Catholic combox.
This is a question you should be prepared to answer.