Over at CRUX (now perhaps Crux 2.0? – the Boston Globe ended its life support – Zombie Crux? – the KofCs support it now, which I can’t get my head around… but I digress…), editor John L. Allen made an odd statement about the traditional form of the Roman Rite and those who desire it.
Allen’s piece is actually about the possibility that Francis’ upcoming Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia (“The Joy of Love” or, variably, “The Pleasure of Lust/Sex” – I guess we have to wait for the rest of that sentence before indulging in too much hijinx), much discussed in anticipation, will really turn out to be much ado about nothing and will have little influence… just like Summorum Pontificum!
On that landscape, here’s another category I’ve long felt would be useful: Documents that cause a huge fuss in the media, but change little on the ground.
As a classic for-instance, take Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 decree liberalizing permission for celebration of the older Latin Mass. It sparked widespread debate, with many liberals seeing it as an attempt to roll back the clock on the reforms of the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), and traditionalists predicting it would transform Catholic worship in the direction of sobriety and reverence. [Time will tell. It has only been in force since 2007. Also, while it takes but a moment to destroy, it takes a long time to build.]
Almost a decade later, however, its practical effect has been fairly limited. Most Catholics who wanted access to the older Mass already had it, [HUH?!?] and neither the apocalypse nor the renaissance suggested by overheated commentary ever occurred.
If Mr. Allen really believes that most of the people who wanted to be able to attend Holy Mass in the traditional form already had it before Summorum Pontificum, he is sorely deluded.
First, the older Mass is celebrated in far more places now than before, although many people are still having problems. Growth is steady. Second, in 50 years I wonder how many people will still be attending the Novus Ordo.
Perhaps a few of you might chime with your experiences about how easy it was before Summorum Pontificum to obtain celebrations of the older form of the Roman Rite. Maybe some of you have tales to share about the open generosity of bishops during the days when only Ecclesia Dei afflicta was in force.
The moderation queue is ON.