Michael Sean Winters of the National Schismatic Reporter brought a smile to my face today!
Winters is primarily reacting to Ross Douthat’s recent piece HERE. Douthat commented in his piece on those who are more traditional and how they see Pope Francis.
However, Winters take the time to attack both me and His Excellency Bp. Robert Morlino by name. Winters, clearly reacting to this post HERE, is terrified of the fact that Morlino and the Diocese of Madison have lots of solid seminarians and that both he and they are open to the Extraordinary Form. This terrifies the Fishwrap and their kind. It’s really pretty funny.
Let’s see a snip or two with my emphases and comments:
When Benedict issued Summorum Pontificum, he was seeking to address a felt pastoral need that had been expressed to him: People missed the old Mass and wanted it back. [That’s only part of the story. Benedict also did that as a way to jump-start a process of organic development of our liturgical worship. But I have written about that elsewhere. The point is, Benedict did not do what he did merely from concern for a small group of people. He did it for the good of the entire Church.] The fact that this particular form of dissent [“dissent”? Where did that come from?] is not new is not comforting, however. As I have written before, I think it may have been necessary but it was very harsh to ban the old Mass when the novus ordo was introduced. But, I do not believe that Benedict intended to start a movement, still less an ideology. [And then the introduction of another scare word.]
You have only to read some of the traditionalists’ websites to realize that they think like a movement and have turned the old Mass into an ideology. This applies, as Douthat argues, to Rorate Caeli, which is pretty far out there, but also to more mainstream sites like Father Zuhlsdorf’s. When he compares enthusiasts of the old Mass to the Maquis, or uses the term “Church militant,” as he does this morning, you see evidence of that movement mentality that could easily turn schismatic. [ROFL! Suddenly Winters is worried about dissent and schism? THAT’s rich, coming from the Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter.] And, it is one thing to see older folk who miss the old Mass seeking it out: [See what he did? The provisions of Summorum Pontificum are really only for old people who, from nostalgia, pine for the old days. Fail.] It is another to find seminarians who do not remember it adopting it as a kind of badge of conservatism. [This is what scares them. Seminarians, priests, bishops who are open to both the Ordinary and Extraordinary Form.] If I were a bishop and I had a young priest or a seminarian who was attracted to the celebration of the old Mass, I would be worried not comforted. And, bishops like Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wisconsin, who has taken to celebrating the old rite with greater frequency in public are not helping to keep this movement in check. [This is Winters way or signaling to his readers that it is time to attack Bp. Morlino.] The trads may be few in number but they are disproportionately represented among the clergy and that should be very worrisome. [It seems to me that Winters main problems is not so much that he doesn’t like the Extraordinary Form… he doesn’t like the people who like the Extraordinary Form. He doesn’t like the people.]
Douthat correctly notes that a larger group of critics is found among those who do not much appreciate the pope’s comments on economics and politics. Douthat is right that this group is larger, and he is right that it is not schismatic, and he is right when he notes,
it’s still mostly a new version of a very old discussion among American Catholics — one that goes back to the Eisenhower-era controversy surrounding William F. Buckley Jr.’s criticisms of the encylical [sic]“Mater et Magistra” and extends through Reagan-era arguments about economic policy — about how to apply Catholic social teaching in the American context, and whether that teaching can or should be reconciled with what you might call Anglo-Saxon capitalism.
The fact that this particular form of dissent is not new is not comforting, however.
This is rich. Suddenly MSW and the Fishwrap are worried about dissent and schism!
I had to smile at the irony… and the additional traffic today! Thanks!