Wherein Fr. Z rants: Card. Sarah’s proposals for “mutual enrichment”

mass TLMI mentioned the firehose effect of onrushing news in another post.  There are strong debates going on over many important issues right now.  One of those which most interests me has been stoked by the 10th anniversary of Benedict XVI’s monumentally important Summorum Pontificum.  I called it the “Emancipation Proclamation”, and have dubbed it a foundation block of his “Marshall Plan” for the revitalization of our Catholic identity and a bulwark against the dictatorship of relativism.

For the 1oth anniversary, the great Robert Card. Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, wrote an article for the French magazine La Nef.  The text was hard to find (I have it now).  I was also sent a good English translation which I read as a PODCAzT.

I didn’t agree with everything the Cardinal suggested about the future path of Benedict’s desired “mutual enrichment” of the two “forms” of the Roman Rite.  However, I have prayerfully engaged them.

Fr. Raymond de Souza (he’s been busy lately), not an enemy of traditional expressions of worship but not a strong supporter, wrote an endorsement of Card. Sarah’s suggestions at the UK’s best Catholic weekly (for which I also write) The Catholic Herald: “Cardinal Sarah’s challenge to traditionalists“.  HERE  De Souza:

Sarah proposes that efforts be made to have a shared calendar and a shared lectionary, so that both the EF and OF would celebrate more feasts together and have the same Scripture readings at Mass.  [Additions of saints to the traditional calendar is not terribly problematic.  The addition of a new lectionary would introduce the serious problems of coherence that the Novus Ordo experiences, at least on Sundays. Also, I am not entirely sure that everyone would agree that the new Lectionary has been 100% successful.  That said, yes, it would be easier for priests to have the same readings in both forms, especially when they – as I frequently do – say both forms on a Sunday.  But easy isn’t a good objective in worship.]

That poses a twofold challenge. First, it requires the EF community to acknowledge that some aspects of the OF, particularly its reformed calendar and its lectionary – which includes far more Scripture than the EF one – are actual improvements and possible enrichments for the EF.  [That isn’t apparent.]

There are certainly some in the EF community who are happy to acknowledge this and would be pleased to see a shared calendar and lectionary. [Again, these are two different issues.] But others, not an insignificant part, consider the entire OF to be an impoverishment with little, if anything, enriching to offer. [It would be good to put together the bullet points of what riches the OF would bring to the EF.  That could be a helpful starting point for discussion.] In the background, of course, is the Society of St Pius X, which would be deeply suspicious of any talk of changing the EF Roman Missal, 1962 edition.


Moving towards Cardinal Sarah’s vision begins, though, not with practicalities but with a change of heart. That is likely why he chose the term “reconciliation”. Reconciliation requires a change of heart, a willingness to see the good in the other, and an openness to make things different in order to accommodate that good.  [A change of heart…]

I think we all can agree that at the heart of most instances of reconciliation, especially in the life of the Church, all parties need a “change of heart”.

However, I must of observe that, for decades, many of the traditional leaning, have experienced their hearts being torn from their breasts and stomped on by the other side, as it were.  Their hearts have again and again been bruised and riven.  If a change of heart is at the heart of reconciliation, then so are apologies.  So is a time for healing.   Talking about a change of heart is easy.

That brings me to another reaction to Card. Sarah’s 10th anniversary article, in dialogue with Fr. de Souza, by Prof. Joseph Shaw of Oxford and of the Latin Mass Society.

Prof. Shaw wrote a piece called “Why Cardinal Sarah’s liturgical ‘reconciliation’ plan won’t work“.  HERE

Firstly, Shaw recaps what Card. Sarah suggested for the mutual enrichment of the two forms.  For example, Sarah proposes introduction – no – re-introduction into the OF: reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling (which should be the norm anyway), the reintroduction of the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, options for using the old Offertory prayers, quiet canon, and the so-called ‘canonical digits’.  Into the EF he would see not so much re-introductions but rather a wholesale change to the traditional Rite, that is, adoption of the Novus Ordo Lectionary (as Fr. de Souza praised) and what I consider a less problematic closer alignment of the calendars, so long as this is restricted to the addition of modern saints, etc.

Shaw tackles the issue of the Lectionary:

The new lectionary is sometimes held up as obviously superior to the old, but not everyone committed to the reformed Mass agrees. The Toronto Oratorian Fr Jonathan Robinson wrote (The Mass and Modernity, 2005, p332):

I think the diversity, rather than enriching people, tends to confuse them… This may be because the selections, as has been noted by others, were drawn up more to satisfy the sensibilities of liturgical scholars than on traditional liturgical principles.  [My old boss at “Ecclesia Dei” remarked that the addition of a third reading on Sundays lent an undesirable element of “didacticism” to Mass.  And if there is greater variety of Scripture readings in the Novus Ordo, the yearly repetition of the same readings on Sunday and Feasts ensured that the faithful came to know them well.  Today, ask people what the readings were as they walk out of Mass.]

However, another question is raised by Cardinal Sarah’s proposal: can the lectionaries of the two Forms simply by swapped over?

The short answer is ‘no’. To take the most obvious problem, the 1969 Lectionary has no readings for the season of Septuagesima, because that season does not exist in the 1969 calendar. Were the ‘Ordinary Time’ cycle simply extended to this period of three Sundays before Lent, its penitential orations would conflict with readings which can be used after Pentecost as well as before Lent.  [How about the reintroduction of the pre-Lent to the Ordinay Form?  How’s that as the step to mutual enrichment?]

Variations on this problem arise throughout the Church’s year. Many of the EF’s proper texts of feast days, and a good many Sundays, refer to the readings. The choice of readings in the Ordinary Form is so different from those in the Extraordinary Form that the discordance would be particularly jarring.  [Moreover, there is often a strong resonance between the readings and the antiphons in Mass formularies that would be disrupted, as it has been in the Novus Ordo with it’s three year Sunday cycle.]


Shaw has more on the issue of the Lectionary.

Then, however, Shaw make a strong argument, which I endorse.

Above all I would like to suggest that the Church has nothing to fear from a varied liturgical landscape: a landscape becoming more varied as Eastern Rite Catholics flee to the West. Vatican II reassured us on this point (Unitatis redintegratio 17):

…from time to time one tradition has come nearer to a full appreciation of some aspects of a mystery of revelation than the other, or has expressed it to better advantage. In such cases, these various theological expressions are to be considered often as mutually complementary rather than conflicting.

This, surely, is the direction from which ‘liturgical reconciliation’ should come.


The Church even in the West has had a varied and rich liturgical tradition of Rites.  Pius V acknowledge and supported this by “grandfathering” in regional Rites to exist along side the Roman Rite which became the universal Rite for the Latin Church.  Over time, the Roman Rite became stronger even in those places which had its own Rite… over time.  With the sudden and brutal imposition of an artifically crafted Novus Ordo Missae in 1969, came the heart-breaking suppression of what was “sacred and great”.

I have argued for decades, ever since an article in Catholic World Report in 1992 (I think), that we have nothing to fear from side by side celebrations of Holy Mass in the traditional form and in the Novus Ordo.  Card. Ratzinger wanted that contact to help jump start the organic development of liturgy which, as the freezing of mustum halts its fermentation into wine, interrupted the centuries long evolution of our liturgical prayer.

Sound liturgical changes take time… a lot of time.   Impatience and imprudent imposition broke hearts and ruptured our Catholic identity, so enervating the Church that we are now experiencing crises in virtually every sphere of her global mission.

Back in the early 90’s I was already arguing that we shouldn’t be afraid of side by side Missals.  Over time, we would see the results. Eventually, however, there would emerge a tertium quid – as I was used to call it then – from the dialogue between the rites.  This I got straight from Card. Ratzinger in chats and from reading his work.

One thing that the Extraordinary Form has already benefited from comes mainly from the ars celebrandi of priests who have had an experience of the Novus Ordo: there is a greater awareness of the presence of and role of the congregation now than ever before. I think that factor alone, if nothing else, has already produced great benefits for the EF.  That’s not a change to the Rite itself.  That’s a change within the mind and the heart of the priest celebrant.  Benedict XVI spoke eloquently of a priest’s ars celebrandi in his Sacramentum caritatis 38 ff., as the best way to foster the (properly understood) “active participation” of the congregation in the way that the Council Fathers hoped for in Sacrosanctum Concilium.  

Who says that we can’t have unity in diversity?  In this Shaw agrees with another great churchman on another 10th annversary.

Back in 26 October 1998, St John Paul II, addressed members of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter who had come to Rome for the 10th anniversary of the his Motu Proprio “Ecclesia Dei adflicta” (which was superseded… or rather brought to fruition… by Summorum Pontificum).  John Paul said:

In order to safeguard the treasure which Jesus has entrusted to her, and resolutely turned towards the future, it is the Church’s duty to reflect constantly on her link with the Tradition that comes to us from the Lord through the Apostles, as it has been built up throughout history. According to the spirit of conversion in the Apostolic Letter Tertio millennio adveniente (nn. 14, 32, 34, 50), [to which Card. Sarah could appeal] I urge all Catholics to perform acts of unity and to renew their loyalty to the Church, so that their legitimate diversity and different sensitivities, which deserve respect, will not divide them but spur them to proclaim the Gospel together; thus, moved by the Spirit who makes all charisms work towards unity, they can all glorify the Lord, and salvation will be proclaimed to all nations.

There is true unity in legitimate diversity.

I say, we need a long period of stability of the two forms side by side.

We must work to establish more and more celebrations of the older, traditional form so that there is a greater opportunity for, not only mutual enrichment, but also the healing of a deeply wounded Church.

We are our rites.

The rupture of our rites made the wound in our identity.

It was the abrupt tinkering with our rites that made the wound in the first place.

Moreover, there is so much illegitimate diversity in the way that the Novus Ordo is celebrated, with odd variations and liturgical abuses, that a great deal of work is needed on that side of the Roman Rite before the reconciliation and mutual enrichment desired by everyone can get off the ground and pick up speed!

Let’s learn from our mistakes.

We must take the prudent path of growth and stability for the Extraordinary Form and of first stabilizing the Ordinary Form and then letting it be what it is according to the desires of the principles enunciated by the Council Fathers.

Meanwhile, to further Card. Sarah’s call for reconciliation, keep in mind the old but true chestnut, often but wrongly attributed to St. Augustine:

In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.

Let us have unity in necessary things, liberty in doubtful things, and in all things charity.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Spade says:

    ” First, it requires the EF community to acknowledge that some aspects of the OF…are actual improvements and possible enrichments for the EF.”

    I actually might agree with this…if we were talking about a “true” Vatican II mass. But we’re not, so no.

    A priest friend did what you could call a Vatican II Mass. Almost everything in Latin. Gregorian chant, everything including the readings were sung. etc. THAT was as good as any regular Sunday EF Mass I’ve gone to. But if you had that then there really wouldn’t be much “need” for mutual enrichment anyway.

    But if we’re talking about Felt Banners and stupid folk songs, then no, that’s not an “improvement” I wish to see enriching anything but a trash can.

  2. Mario Bird says:

    Doesn’t the tertium quid argument sound remarkably like Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis? Can this form of phenomenological thought be “baptized” into Christian liturgy? More importantly, should it?

    Sorry if the above sounds like an essay prompt.

  3. Nathan says:

    Father, very insightful and convincing analysis. One thing that stands out to me in supporting the need for a lengthy side-by-side period is the time to look closely and discuss some of the assertions associated with how the Novus Ordo could potentially enrich the TLM, namely the lectionary.

    Yes, there is more quantitatively more Holy Scripture in the Novus Ordo lectionary, but as it is currently selected and organized, I wonder whether there is a qualitative improvement in the newer lectionary. A couple of places to drill down:

    –There is absolutely much, much more of the Old Testament with the addition of the third reading. However, the tradeoff in the Novus Ordo seemed to be the elimination of the OT Psalm texts from the rest of the Propers (one example is the prayer when the Celebrant washes his hands at the Offertory, among many others) and the complete elimination of the prescribed Psalm texts of the Introit, Offertory, and Communion verses in the ubiquitous substitution of modern religious songs over the Graduale.

    –Additionally, at least in the readings for daily Mass in the Novus Ordo, there seems to often be a tenuous or no connection between the OT reading and the Gospel, and the weekly narratives from the OT jump around without context. It seems to me that the readings from Matins in the Brevarium Romanum would be a much more consistent selection method for OT readings.

    –Comparing the Epistles for Ordinary Time in the Novus Ordo with the Epistles in the TLM for Time After Pentecost, there seems to be a significant shift of emphasis. The TLM Epistles focus on living the Christian and moral life in very practical terms, while it seems that the Novus Ordo Epistles focus on the very technical aspects of theological discussions (weeks of reading about grace and justification from Romans, for example). While both are meritorious, should we think about what emphasis might be more helpful for the Faithful?

    –The Sunday Gospels in Lent in the TLM, are, IMO, critically necessary in this time of great Christological error. They clearly and unambiguously lay out the case for Holy Week and the Triduum–Jesus Christ makes that case that He is God, and he is sought out by the leaders of Israel for death. In the Novus Ordo, there are those themes, but they are woven into the Gospels specifically related to the reception of converts at Easter, as well as some other themes that are good in and of themselves, but not nearly as coherent and compelling as the TLM sequence.

    –What has been the impact of replacing the readings of feast days of Saints during the week with the unrelated cycle of daily Mass readings in the Novus Ordo? Has it been as enriching as the popular narrative sets it out to be?

    I don’t mean to throw cold water on Fr De Souza’s article, and I agree that there is much to discuss and to analyze. But we should be very careful not to take the fairly widespread assertions of the ways that the OF could enrich the EF without some thought.

    In Christ,

  4. Alexander says:

    I understand that both forms are valid but how do you have mutual enrichment between fast food and a seven-course meal?

  5. dbonneville says:

    “Doesn’t the tertium quid argument sound remarkably like Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis? Can this form of phenomenological thought be “baptized” into Christian liturgy? More importantly, should it?”

    I thought that immediately. The problem is that underlaying the Hegelian dialectic is that the two opposing forces, thesis and antithesis, are both already relative truths. What harm is there in mixing to relative truths to come up with a new relative truth?

    To me, it sounded like Cdl. Sarah is proposing a “pagan takeover” of the Hegelian model. But, that smacks to me of fighting heavenly powers with earthly means. We can’t lay a trap and not get caught in it. I personally think the OF is irredeemable, though valid.

    The situation we are in now reminds of The Shepherd of Hermas. It was read at Mass in the earliest centuries, considered Scripture by some bishops but not all, not universally. But over time, it excluded itself and fell into disuse by it’s own nature. This was revealed organically over generations. There was no secret too clever by half reverse Hegelian or whatever dialectic to expunge it from being read at Mass (though to this day it’s still great devotional material).

    Put another way, if the OF and EF are both offered at every parish, over time the OF would fall into disuse, even it it had “the best time slots”. It could happen over a very short span of time, say 30-40 years. If you want to see babies, go to EF Masses. If you don’t like babies, go to ANY NO Mass, where you can enjoy almost none of their shenanigans on a regular basis.

  6. Sonshine135 says:

    Can we repeal and replace the OF?

    In all seriousness though, the 1962 calendar should be reconciled with the new calendar, but once you start doing that, you have to look at the liturgy. For all of its glory, the EF Mass is frozen. A group of scholarly individuals with a firm foundation in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew as well as historical appreciation for the Mass need to be assembled (no Protestants please). They must consider what Vatican II actually asked for, and an organic revision should be performed to the 1962 Mass. Finally, the church as a whole should get into sackcloth, with ashes on our head, and pray for the souls of those who thought the new Mass in its current form was a good idea, bringing reconciliation between tribes in the church and restoring some sense of Catholic Unity.

    It would require a great deal of intellectual and spiritual honesty, and dare I say, this current Vatican doesn’t seem up to the task.

  7. msc says:

    All things being equal, I would not like to lose the third reading. I’m not sure about the didacticism Fr. refers to. I don’t see that glorifying God and teaching the congregation have to be put at odds. So few Catholics hear or read any of the Bible aside from what they get at Mass.

  8. Richard A says:

    I can’t see that the revised calendar is any kind of improvement. Nor the changes in the ritual itself. The only advantage the NO has is the increased exposure to Scripture, especially the Old Testament, but even that, as indicated, should be developed more carefully than it obviously was the first time around.

  9. APX says:

    A shared lectionary would not be good. The Missal of Divine Worship and the current Roman Missal share a lectionary, which is just plan awkward and annoying when it comes to pre-Lent and Lent, as well as other Feasts such as Corpus Christi, not to mention the Current calendar lacks certain feasts such as the Feast of the Precious Blood. That being said, it would be nice to be able to celebrate Masses for new saints and use the actual propers for the saint in Latin.

  10. Ben Kenobi says:

    Stability, first and foremost would be key. I’m not that old and haven’t been Catholic that long, but already they’ve changed the English responses to the mass. I understand the rationales behind the changes, but I’m always thinking “and also with you”, etc. It just sounds and feels right to me because that is what I taught when I came in. I’ll probably always be doing that, as the habits ingrained have stuck. I don’t know if that makes me a bad parishioner to prefer the older responses. I actually liked them because I thought that they fit the English mass in the sense that the words reflected how people speak. Latin is great, but English is not Latin. I don’t like ‘consubstantial” and prefer ‘one in being with the father’. I like the Latin for the Latin masses because it fits, but I’m not sure I understand taking Latin words to the English and trying to make them fit there.

    In any case, I’d rather not keep switching and changing. Learning everything as an adult was hard enough for me. I don’t want to keep relearning everything every decade because people cannot settle for one thing or the other.

    Thank you Father Z for your tireless efforts.

  11. Eliane says:

    If there’s to be tinkering with the EF, the move to do so should come strictly from within the EF community itself, including the SSPX, and not imposed arrogantly from the outside as the OF was in its heyday. Many of us see the OF congregations on the verge of implosion because of the aging demographics of their parishioners coupled with the lack of any decent catechism having been passed on to their social-Catholic-only children. If their OT readings were so enriching, why are their congregations dying out, while churches close by the score? EF people I know would react very angrily and resistant to such a proposal, which to me seems designed to make trouble and acrimony. Don’t we have enough of that already roiling in the church these days? So why even think about imposing gratuitous meddlesome tinkering onto a small but growing movement that is successfully inspiring people to want to be good Catholics? If someone wants to fix something, focus on what is broken.

  12. wolfeken says:

    Please, supporters of the failed Reform of the Reform (or whatever the ultra-rare Latin novus ordo facing east is called today), leave the TLM alone. We sympathize that your movement never took off. But don’t attempt to inject post-Vatican II novelties into a centuries-old Mass. They didn’t work with the novus ordo, and they certainly will not work within the TLM. Join the party — don’t try to redecorate the room.

  13. TJV3 says:

    Taking up the offer to lay out some positive “enrichments” the OF can offer the EF:
    – Greater number and variety of Prefaces;
    – Daily Formularies for Advent, including proper lections;
    – Expanded Formularies for Votive Masses;
    – Cycle of Readings for weekday Mass.
    – Inclusion of formularies for Saints canonized since 1962.

  14. TonyO says:

    Ben, you are absolutely right: stability is a very important good. So talk of changing should be always taken with (a) caution, and (b) a very long time frame in mind. It is absolutely atrocious that the Lectionary English translation has had, in my life time, at least 3 different translations of the Nativity narrative (probably more). This is harmful all of its own: everyone should be able to rattle off the phrases without effort, and constant change makes that impossible.

    Setting aside the problems of introducing change, there is no overwhelming need for the Lectionaries to be identical. Nevertheless, one can easily argue that the EF lectionary can be improved by adding Old T. readings. (To the complaint that the OF readings are not great: fine, get the great ones that are perfect for those Gospel readings. That can be fixed.) There is nothing inherently FINE about the EF not having the OT readings. It’s not a perfection of the liturgy that it not include the OT. I wouldn’t mind if the EF, after say 100 years of study, were changed by adding OT readings, and the OF mass were made to line up to those ones for the comparable Sundays.

    I would generally agree with the notion of reducing the OF calendar to 1 year’s worth of masses. We do not absolutely need a 3-year cycle. The only exception I might make is (and this is only for the sake of considering, not insist is better) to allow on a few Sundays or feast days a variation on WHICH of the appropriate Gospel reading applies: there is more than one Gospel passage for the multiplication of the loaves, so varying between the different versions but leaving that Sunday in place would not be grotesque. Same for Nativity. Maybe for the “good shepherd” Sunday. But that’s only going to affect maybe 5 days of the year.

    One place I would claim that the OF can be used to improve the EF, probably as the V II Fathers intended (IMHO): actually having the people say the Credo, and a couple other mass parts. To me it seems very likely that the Credo was originally said by the people, and that this fell
    out of custom when Latin was no longer the vernacular. I don’t insist on putting it into the vernacular: the people can learn the Latin just fine, and say it. The prayer SHOULD be coming from them anyway, they should all be able to say “I believe…”, and it is not really sufficient for either the priest or the choir to say it on their behalf. (It is not like the sacrifice which the priest is offering on their behalf, the people have to believe.)

  15. VeritasVereVincet says:

    I can’t really say I expected a different response. I was hoping, though.

    Ben Kenobi:
    I don’t know if that makes me a bad parishioner to prefer the older responses. I actually liked them because I thought that they fit the English mass in the sense that the words reflected how people speak.

    It’s not you. Some of the new translations are objectively clunky.

  16. acardnal says:

    I agree with wolfeken above: leave the usus antiquior alone! Exception: updating saints calendar for post-1962 missal.

  17. Amante de los Manuales says:

    I’d be happy if the Novus Ordo were just suppressed. Why do we need it anyway?

  18. Kathleen10 says:

    Here comes that camel’s nose again! Once they start tinkering, they will only fix it til it’s broken.

    No. No no no no no.

  19. Felipe says:

    Why doesn’t the N.O. Do the upgrades to get closer to the TLM and allow the TLM to exist as it currently does? Maybe update the saints in the TLM, but leave it be. I think since the OF is an invented liturgy anyway, they might as well keep working on it. There definitely needs to be hard line reforms of the N.O. that are established long before this “mutual enrichment” takes place. Michael Davies made a great point that finding a N.O. Mass that is said in the manner in which the council intended is more difficult to find than a TLM. That was said before Summorum Pontifcum.

  20. Rich says:

    For Sunday Masses, I think the EF readings from the proper texts are fine: good for developing the sacred memory, as it were. However, on the weekdays, the EF readings sometimes come off as an afterthought when you are referring to the same readings multiple times throughout the year depending on what common or votive Mass is being used.

  21. mburn16 says:

    “Diversity” may not be inherently bad, but it comes with some rather routine and predictable consequences that often are. Tribalism is first and foremost among these. How many people regularly attend both the NO and the EF? Now how many who attend only one or the other have a less-than-wholly-charitable view of the most dedicated proponents of the other? Like social diversity, liturgical diversity functions mostly to separate us from each other, whatever its good intentions.

    I also understand the calls for a “long period of stability” but, as scripture says, “man born of woman has but a short time to live”. Accepting a long period of stability also means consenting to living most or all of our lives wedged into the current arrangement. Which…leaves a lot to be desired.

    Merits – or at least what a large percentage of the population consider, honestly and without any taste for heterodoxy, consider to be merits – of the NO are not so hard to come up with. Personally I like the increased volume of scripture that is put before people, and the increased role assigned to providing Christian instruction. I like that virtually all the prayers are said aloud. I like, I admit, that the Mass is almost entirely in a language that I use on a daily basis and understand without reaching for a translation (not that Latin isn’t often beautiful, but it is often inaccessible to anyone off the street, even moreso considering the quantity of the EF that is said in a low voice).

    I don’t think “reform of the reform” failed/is failing/will fail because of any irreconcilability of the forms, but because it has always been more of a slogan than an actual effort. EF Catholics are – forgive the expression – stuck in 1962, and that doesn’t really leave much room to be enriched by anything, short of those in a position of power actually handing down the changes. And since so many EF Catholics want little to do with the NO, the more mainstream (?) parishes have in some cases been deprived of those best positioned to move them in a more rigid, orthodox, traditional direction. “Reform of the Reform” hasn’t failed – it has never been given a credible path, much less a chance, to success. And where there has been the will and intention to make changes in the NO – say, the new translation – hey, look at that, it happened.

    I find it interesting, and a tad hypocritical, when those traditional Catholics who tout the benefits of praying in the same way Catholics have prayed for centuries, and having a universal tongue in the form of Latin, suddenly start retreating into ideas of preservation of the status quo, or even – ack – diversity, when confronted with the idea that reform might lead us back to a single form of the Mass, and thus the discontinuation of the “pure” 1962 form.

    There is value, great value, in the dignity and reverence and history of the EF. There is also value, great value, in the desire to make a liturgy that is accessible to and mindful of the people in the pews, that would be comprehensible to someone walking in off the street, and that seeks to increase the scriptural depth of your average Catholic through greater reading and instruction.

    Ultimately my dream isn’t diversity or preservation of the current arrangement, or even reform of the reform or mutual enrichment, its convergence.

  22. Fr. W says:

    I am admittedly confused. “Mutual enrichment”. I really am beginning to think that the EF proponents repeat this phrase in a cynical and disingenuous way. There is nothing “mutual” intended by them. Is there nothing improved or good about some aspects of the OF? Is everything perfect and irreformable about the EF? We have celebrated the EF in my parish for three years. I support it. I love it. But as a pastor who actually has to care for the souls of my people (about 10,000 of them), I am beginning to believe this discussion is rather disengaged from reality – natural and supernatural. I am discouraged by the “snark” heaped upon faithful Catholics and pastors trying their best to be “with the Church” in accord with current Canon Law and Liturgical Norms. Your support of orthodoxy inspires me. The reminder that this pontificate is a parenthesis delights me. The rest seems rather effete.

  23. donato2 says:

    No one has identified a single thing that the OF has to offer to the EF. I would love to see a unified calendar and lectionary but only if all the change came from the OF side and that obviously is not going to happen. Thus unity in diversity as a practical matter is the best we’ll be able to do. Let’s wait 150 years, see where things stand then, and, if the OF is still around, reopen this discussion at that time.

  24. Elizabeth D says:

    I have a good amount of respect for Fr W’s comment.

  25. chantgirl says:

    The current regime in Rome can’t be trusted when it concerns children, large sums of money, or even the moral teachings of Jesus. What makes anyone think they can be trusted with the EF?

    Until the Philistines have died or retired, we need a complete moratorium on liturgical tinkering.

    This is the hill that traditionalists will die on.

  26. asburyfox says:

    I believe the new lectionary and new calendar are not enrichments in any way. They did not improve the old, they became worse than the old. Ordinary time in the new calendar doesn’t work, doesn’t make sense, and is a retrogression. The three year cycle in the lectionary has been a total disaster. The more Scripture that was added actually made Catholics know less about Scripture. It has been completely damaging.

    I don’t believe in mutual enrichment. Enrichment is a one way highway. It goes from the TLM rite to the Paul VI Novus Ordo rite. The deficiencies in the New Mass can only be fixed with enrichment from the TLM. Literally, the only thing in the new Mass I like is the sung per ipsum. The single only thing. So there is not much in the way of mutual enrichment.

  27. dr.Lloyd says:

    Wow! So true.

  28. cyrillist says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A true blending of the “best features” of the Traditional Rite and the Novus Ordo would result in the Traditional Rite as it stands.

    Plus, I have absolutely no trust in the current leadership of the Church to determine which modern saints should be added to the calendar and which older saints should be excised to make room for them. The Novus Ordo lectionary was engineered, not only to “get more Scripture in there,” but also to eliminate or make optional many “uncomfortable” Scriptural passages existing in the TR – one particularly poignant example nowadays being 1 Cor. 11:27-29, from the Epistle for the Feast of Corpus Christi. I have no doubt that the same Modernist sensibility would drive any updating of the calendar. Let’s wait until the current fever has finally run its course – being reminded of ancient exemplars of heroic virtue will do the laity no harm, and the modern saints won’t mind.

  29. (X)MCCLXIII says:

    I agree with Cyrillist.

  30. Gerhard says:

    One must question the prudence of proposing to amend the EF right now (or at any time, of course) that the Anti-Church run the Church.

  31. frjim4321 says:

    A better proposal would be create a separate rite for those who are attracted to the unreformed liturgy. It practice, that’s how it functions anyway.

  32. aquinas138 says:

    I vote for leaving well enough alone. The only realistic change in the EF that should be contemplated is the addition of saints to the otherwise unchanged calendar. Then let true organic reform happen over time – not Vatican-imposed changes we call “organic.” Less realistic is to get away from the 1962 books towards books and a calendar that are actually traditional and have a set of rubrics and a pedigree of longer than 9 years.

    If the 3-year lectionary is such an obvious improvement over the traditional lectionary, why did it never occur to our forebears in any rite, East or West, to have multiyear lectionaries? And one cannot just import the new lectionary into the old Mass. Besides the problems of coherence within the Mass itself that have already been mentioned, such a move would introduce considerable mischief into the Divine Office, which is sadly too often ignored in these conversations.

  33. Chris Rawlings says:

    I agree with Fr. W.

    The traditionalist celebration of liturgical diversity is utterly confounded by the traditionalist refusal to recognize the value–and, for some, legitimacy–of the New Mass. I love the idea of a flourish of quality liturgical diversity, where an average parish offers a diversity of well-celebrated Masses in various forms of the Latin rite. Or even a diocese where such a flourish of diversity exists broadly enough to allow adherents of the various forms to easily access their preferred Mass. But for that to happen traditionalists, as well as attendees of the Novus Ordo, will have to accept the legitimacy and value of the “other” form of the Mass. Obnoxious jabs about suppressing or “repealing” the Novus Ordo obviously don’t help.

    Nor does triumphalism about the Old Form. [People I know aren’t into “triumphalism”, which you by your -ism mean to be a bad thing. I’m not sure why it’s a bad thing, btw, given what Mass is. The people I know have a pretty healthy understanding about about the choices. Of course I’ve had a hand in forming them, too.] Look, folks. About 98% of Latin rite Catholics are attached to the Novus Ordo. I don’t care how many babies you have, how much you love the TLM, how beautiful you find it, or how many comments you make on trad blogs. The idea that the TLM will replace the Novus Ordo as the “normative” Mass of the faithful is simply a fantasy.

    I love the TLM. I identify as a “traditionalist,” I pray the old breviary in Latin every day, and when available my family attends either a TLM (or, sometimes, an eastern rite liturgy). Like Fr. DeSouza and Cardinal Sarah, I’m certainly no foe of the Old Mass. And, like Fr. Z, I believe that the Old Mass is a crucial part of the liturgical growth of the Church going forward, and that it’s an important element of evangelization and the apostolate of many holy Catholics. But the truth is that delusional triumphalism, nostalgia, [I don’t know who you hang out with, but it is not my experience that people who want the older Mass are bound up in those things. I believe that to be a canard.] and a basic inability to appreciate the apostolic and liturgical value of a beautiful OF Mass, is a constant blind spot among EF-lovers that is not just annoying, but actually an evangelical impediment.

  34. TonyO says:

    @ Cyrillist

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A true blending of the “best features” of the Traditional Rite and the Novus Ordo would result in the Traditional Rite as it stands.

    Is there NO respect in which the EF could be better than it is already? None at all? Were the Fathers of V II actually wrong in asking for a reform?

    Is the fact that the people don’t say the Credo a positive good of the EF? How so? Would having the people say the Credo not be better, considered on its own?

    Is the lack of OT readings a positive good of the EF? Would the addition of OT readings to the existing Sunday readings not be a gain for the people in the pew?

  35. FranzJosf says:

    Improvement for the TLM: remove the PIUS XII and JOHN XXIII changes, especially Holy Week and Candlemas.

    Yes, three lessons are too many, given human nature and the circumstances at that moment in the Mass. In the NO, it is one time the Noble Simplicity crowd should have followed their own advice.

  36. danielinnola says:

    Whenever there is talk of “mutual enrichment” The one thing that is inevitably trotted out is this “enriching the EF” with more scripture readings..excuse me but the EF has all of the scripture it needs. The Gospels for the Sundays are Ancient.. i look fwd to quasimodo Sunday. The Gesima Sundays.. etc. The EF in its selection of scripture sanctifies time.. ancient time. I’m hearing the same readings that were said on the exact same Sundays a thousand years ago.. i look fwd as the seasons pass in the natural world ans in the missal.. summer winds down and ends with the Exaltation of the Cross in Sept. The ember days.. Michaelmas, Martinmas, and all the other great yearly feasts. We are doing just fine in the EF, the readings are exactly as they need to be, the EF triumphs in this aspect in contrast to which the NO fails in its jumbled up 3 year cycle, and it fails miserably.

  37. TomCom says:

    Fr. Z – What do you think about this?

    One area where I truly believe the Novus Ordo could shape (not really “enrich”) the EF for the better is in the posture of the congregation, especially at Low Mass.

    Of course there are no rubrics for the posture of the congregation in the EF, and local customs vary. Generally in the U.S.A., people kneel from the entrance to the Gospel, sit from the end of the Gospel to the Sanctus (excepting the Creed when said), then go back to kneeling.

    As someone who grew up with the N.O., I have never felt comfortable sitting for the preface. The N.O. has you standing, and I think that is a better posture. I also generally feel like there is too much kneeling at Low Mass — it is a position of prayer, not of listening, and parts of the Mass are more listening for the congregation (e.g. epistle, gradual).

    Generally, I think N.O. postures for the congregation are spot on. I’d like to see something like this: Kneel for the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, stand for the Introit thru the Epistle, sit for the Epistle and Gradual, stand at the Alleluia through the Gospel, sit for the sermon, stand for the Creed, sit for the Offertory, stand for the Secret, Dialog, Preface, kneel at the Sanctus (before not after), stand at the final Amen of the Canon, kneel at the Agnus Dei. Very much like the N.O.

    What do you think?

  38. Precentrix says:

    That posture thing…

    It is more of the custom in *some* places, that people essentially follow choir rubrics from the congregation, rather than kneeling all through, even at Low Mass.

    Things that the Novus Ordo (done well) encourages, and which I think could be contemplated:
    1) The “Dialogue Mass” where the people, rather than just the server, give the responses. This is roughly equivalent to a parochial Missa Cantata where the parishioners actually sing their parts of the Mass (as envisaged by, oh look, Vatican II) rather than just listening.
    2) Consistency of bodily posture as mentioned above, roughly equivalent to High Mass choir rubrics – the kneeling thing is in my experience particularly an anglophone thing and I don’t know why.
    3) Singing the Ordinary of the Mass even when the rest is spoken. This is an anomaly in the EF and is known colloquially in France as “la messe scoute”, i.e. a scouts’ Mass. Most people can manage to sing at least the simplest Ordinary, even if they can’t sing the Propers, but this isn’t really envisaged in the EF rubrics.
    4) Actually having the Easter Vigil at night (yes, I know, and I love the pre-56 Holy Week apart from that ;-) ).
    5) The explicit epiclesis not found in the Roman Canon. I don’t know how that would work, but it’s a thing that bothers some of my Eastern friends.
    6) Saints canonised since 1961.
    7) Not a Mass thing, but the movability of the OOR as opposed to Matins, and the greater variety of readings in the OOR.
    8) Using the vernacular *when appropriate*. I am strongly in favour of Latin for many reasons, but I do see that the vernacular can be useful and I even have a copy of the English Gradual waiting for when my parish will allow chant. Many EF Masses I’ve attended have had the readings twice, once in Latin and again in English, which seems slightly pointless to me.

    Oh look, I actually think most of those things were actually envisaged in Sacrosanctum Concilium…

  39. Joe in Canada says:

    Using the EF calendar in the OF would be great for us OFers with little possibility of being part of an EF community. Ad orientem would be great too, and removing the “presider’s chair” from behind the altar.

  40. RafqasRoad says:

    Fr. Jim 4321,

    You may be closer to a ‘solution’ than you think; it currently exists and is the treasure chest in the room ignored by 99.9% of folk debating the merits of EF vs. OF ect.; the Anglican Ordinariate form of the Roman Rite mass; all in English (sacrel English is far easier for busy priests with little grounding in latin to wrap their heads around), all the stunning reverence of the EF and all-round a beautiful thing. From my vantage point,this form of the Roman Rite seems to embody the original thinking of those who framed Sacrosanctum Concillium. Many Roman Rite Catholics are scared of it and/or do not understand it; one does not need ‘ Anglican pedigree’ to attend and partake of its sacraments. This is the second gift Pope Benedict XVI gave us and one sadly ignored.This is a third way solution that as I see it, cuts cleanly through all the heat and fog so common in EF.OF debates, too often ignored or even rejected out of hand as viable and a good for we in the pews.

    Something to bear in mind.
    PS: it has none of the baggage that seems to have accreted around the TLM especially amongst Catholic Christians of a certain age and background, especially those who have bestrode the pre and post VII divide.

  41. robtbrown says:

    Chris Rawlings says,

    But the truth is that delusional triumphalism, nostalgia, and a basic inability to appreciate the apostolic and liturgical value of a beautiful OF Mass, is a constant blind spot among EF-lovers that is not just annoying, but actually an evangelical impediment.

    Triumphalism and nostalgia are empty-headed descriptions. Have you ever visited Clear Creek Abbey or the FSSP seminary? If you had, you would have seen no nostalgia and triumphalism, just beautiful Catholic liturgy and serious people with a great spirit.

    The irony is that one of the formal accusations of nostalgia came from the 18th cent poet Matthew Arnold, who rejected anything supernatural in religious. In his poem The Grande Chartreuse he thinks the lives of monks are little else than mourning, a gloomy nostalgia for an age long past. He didn’t understand that what he thought was monastic nostalgia was in fact the Catholic longing for eternal life.

  42. robtbrown says:

    Ben Kenobi,

    Consubstantial and One in Being are not necessarily the same. One in Being can include certain accidents, and there are no accidents in God.

  43. robtbrown says:

    There are two different principles behind the EF readings and OF lectionary. The latter intended to include as much Scripture as possible (with some notable unpleasant exceptions, e.g., Romans 1: 25 . . .

    The former is intended to have readings that fit the theme of a mass (cf Fr Z’s comment about coherence). Thus a mass for an Abbot will never have readings more appropriate for a Virgin.

  44. PTK_70 says:

    @Joe in Canada….thank you for mentioning the removal of the presider’s chair from behind the altar!

  45. PTK_70 says:

    @FranzJosf….now that you mention it, three lessons might perhaps be a bit much, especially when you factor in the sermon (just speaking from the perspective of a layman in the pew)…..

  46. edwar says:

    The monks at Clear Creek celebrate the Saints’ days on the dates in which they occur in the OF. There’s a web page that they update weekly, which makes this clear: https://clearcreekmonks.org/visit/daily-mass/. That page always shows exactly which Saints’ days are coming in the current week.

    I can’t quite remember, though, which set of Collects, etc., they use. I tend to think that they don’t use the OF Collects at all.. I tend to think that they use the EF collect for older Saints, i.e., they move the collect (and propers) from the EF date to the OF date, and then they use the common of Martyrs, Virgins, etc. for any new Saints that aren’t in the EF. But I’m not sure. I’ve never been there for e.g. Saint Padre Pio or Saint JPII, which would have stuck in my mind.

    Does anyone else, any friend of the Clear Creek monks, remember these details better than I do?

  47. PTK_70 says:

    So mutual enrichment is really predicated upon a change of heart. But more than one heart must change, no?

    One might expect signs to accompany a change of heart. Perhaps an olive branch will be extended. Here are some thoughts on baby steps that might be taken on the path to reconciliation and mutual enrichment:

    Speaking to those who don’t have sympathies in the way of tradition…for whatever reason you may not “get” the attraction to Latin and plainchant and ad orientem worship, but at least be open to the faithful – the real people and real families – who do lean traditional. Bring them out of the peripheries and into the mainstream of parish life. Give them a Sunday Mass time slot which lets them know they are not an afterthought. Yes, this may involve rearranging the Sunday Mass schedule a bit.

    Speaking to those with a heart for traditional expressions of faith…drop like a bad habit the unofficial and unhelpful term “Novus Ordo” as a (pejorative) nickname for the Missal of Bl Paul VI. This is low hanging fruit if ever there were such a thing. Use instead “ordinary” or “post-conciliar” form of the Roman Rite. Don’t like these? Try “reformed use” of the Roman Rite. There’s also usus recentior, which is perfectly pithy and descriptive. This latter has been used by His Eminence Cardinal Sarah. Let’s break once and for all from the fiction that a brand new Rite was introduced in 1970.

  48. Rich says:

    Chris Rawlings, As someone who alternates taking his family to the Byzantine Divine Liturgy with the solemn High Mass in the EF from Sunday to Sunday, I also appreciate liturgical diversity. Why is it, however, that at your average OF parish, we encounter so many who would be hard pressed to explain what happens at Mass or who or what the Eucharist is, yet suddenly when it comes to traditionalists, we move the goalposts to the attainment of such ideals as liturgical diversity? In all fairness, I think some traditionalists’ hang-ups over the OF, especially insofar as such precludes liturgical diversity, should be a minor concern within the context of considering which form of the Latin Rite could clearly enrich the other, especially in light of other issues some faithful have, such as not knowing who or what the Eucharist is.

  49. robtbrown says:


    Clear Creek uses the new calendar, but the texts are from the old Benedictine Breviary.

    In Rome I had a priest friend (from Argentina) who also adopted the old Breviary. He junked the new Liturgy of the Hours for two reasons: First, he had no use for the intercessory prayers. I have known many priests who for the same reason just skip them (I read them for the Latin practice, but some are really dumb). Second, translating and editing, he said he was tired of the extended OT readings about the women David screwed. Anyway, he bought a copy of the Solemnes Ordo (New Calender, Old Breviary).

  50. aquinas138 says:


    Is there NO respect in which the EF could be better than it is already? None at all? Were the Fathers of V II actually wrong in asking for a reform?

    There are ways the EF could be improved, but I’m not sure the OF provides the template to do so. Unlike many who have an interest in the EF, I do not consider myself a traditionalist and I do not like Low Masses, but I honestly cannot think of a single thing from the zillions of OF Masses I’ve attended over the years that I think would improve the EF. I think the people should make the appropriate responses at Mass, but that can be done in the traditional Mass without a single change to the text of the Mass.

    The Fathers were not wrong to ask for a reform, but I honestly believe they were mistaken in thinking the rites themselves needed to be changed (and they were changed far more than the texts of the Council imply). The problems you hear about could have been helped with more attention to dignified celebration, rubrical adjustments, getting away from minimalism, getting people to engage the Mass, etc. Modern man is not so different from his ancestors that he needs a new Mass. It saddens me to look at sacramentaries from a millennium ago and see how similar they are to Missals from 1962, and then see how different Missals from 1962 and 1969 are.

  51. Philokalos says:

    “”•••Meanwhile, to further Card. Sarah’s call for reconciliation, keep in mind the old but true chestnut, often but wrongly attributed to St. Augustine:

    In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas.

    Let us have unity in necessary things, liberty in doubtful things, and in all things charity.•••””

    I could write a book entitled: “Sayings falsely attributed to St Augustine (or Aristotle) by people arguing about Catholic issues”.

    This one comes from Gaudium et Spes 92.39.

    It does not occur in any of the works of Augustine (or, for that matter, any other author), according to a digital search in the LLT-Series A. There’s actually a Wikipedia page for this phrase, and it claims that it was first used by Marco Antonio de Dominis, but the passage quoted is not the same.

    If anyone is still interested, LLT searches of collocations of the words “necessariis” and “unitas” yield only 7 hits total in the full corpus ranging from antiquity through the 20th century, and only in the passage from Gaudium et Spes do the two words even relate syntactically to one another.

  52. Philokalos says:

    The sequel to that book would be: “Dogmas falsely attributed to St Thomas Aquinas by persons arguing about Catholic issues.” But this would be less fun, since usually people who claim the authority of Thomas have a different relationship to that author from that of persons who claim Augustine.

  53. TonyO says:

    I think the people should make the appropriate responses at Mass, but that can be done in the traditional Mass without a single change to the text of the Mass.

    Aquinas138, thanks for the reply. My suggestion of having the people actually say the Credo would not change the text, of course, but it would change the way the Mass runs. The addition of Old Testament texts suited to the Gospel reading would increase the laity’s grasp of the development of the economy of salvation, the way Christ is prefigured over and over, etc. I am not talking about changing any of the Gospel readings – keep them the way they have been for a millenium.

    Like Precentrix above, I can’t see the point of reading the Epistle and Gospel in Latin, and then in the vernacular. I think this is one of the areas where the Council Fathers intended reform, and it is (in my view) clearly right.

    It saddens me to look at sacramentaries from a millennium ago and see how similar they are to Missals from 1962, and then see how different Missals from 1962 and 1969 are.

    Me too.

  54. Joe in Canada says:

    PTK_70 – thanks for the shoutout. I don’t think that our Roman liturgy needs to be reformed along the lines of the Byzantine liturgy, but when we make changes, I like to look at what the East does at that point and ask “why?” The Eastern Liturgy has a chair behind the altar, but only the Bishop gets to sit there. Otherwise there is an icon of Christ or a copy of the Gospels. Having a “presider’s chair” behind the altar for anyone led to the strange situation once in the Cathedral of St. John’s (Newf) where the Archbishop presided from his cathedra, which is to the side, and the pastor of the parish sat in the “presider’s chair” behind the altar, front and centre.

  55. Gilbert Fritz says:

    What mburn16, Fr. W, Chris Rawlings, Precentrix and PTK-70 said.

    But at the same time, we should remember that “traditionalists” have gone through a lot in the last 47 years, and that a truly pastoral approach would tread lightly. I don’t think mandating readings in the vernacular in the EF would be a good idea, for instance, even though I think vernacular readings would be a good idea if implemented by individuals. Such mandated changes would be seen as a betrayal by many traditionalists.

    PTK-70; yes about dropping the term “Novus Ordo.” It has become a slur and is unnecessary.

  56. Grant M says:

    Hmm..I can see that traditionalists are going to shoot that dang camel if it ever again brings its nose within a mile of the tent, and who can blame them?

  57. Pingback: Cardinal Sarah, reconciliation and the lectionary

  58. PTK_70 says:

    @Joe in Canada…..that “strange situation” you describe occurs at the cathedral in Anchorage, as well.


    While I’m on my high horse (and before this post scrolls off the front page), I want to rail against another questionable practice, namely, the capitalization of “Ordinary Form” and “Extraordinary Form” as if these both were proper nouns. In the English language, we capitalize composites such as Mount Rushmore and the U.S. Constitution and the Ford Mustang. But we don’t write “Fastback Version” of the Ford Mustang nor do we write “Second Generation” of the Ford Mustang. It’s simply the fastback version or the second (or third or fourth, etc) generation of the Ford Mustang. “Ford Mustang” is a proper noun; “version” and “generation” are common nouns.

    “Roman Rite” is a proper noun. But the “form” in which it is found…..how is that a proper noun? For the love of God and the English language, let’s leave the capitalization of the word “form” to the Germans.

  59. jflare says:

    “…nothing to fear from a varied liturgical landscape: a landscape becoming more varied as Eastern Rite Catholics flee to the West…”

    On the contrary, I think we have a great deal to fear from having two forms of the same rite. If nothing else, all the liturgical battles which have come to hamstring the Novus Ordo, thus causing many–like myself–to flee to the TLM, should demonstrate how this needs to be made a temporary arrangement, not something that we expect to last. I think we have learned to our chagrin about how Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi has a serious impact.
    When we have two forms of the same rite, we wind up with two groups of people referring to themselves as the same thing, Roman Catholic, yet the two groups might almost as effectively brand each other as heretics and Protestants for all that the “clans” seem to get along. We can’t be a truly universal Church if the two factions constantly dicker over matters as simple as whether altar girls or communion rails make sense or not.
    Within a century, we really need to bring the two forms back together into one. We simply need for the TLM to grow significantly in practice before the two can be even remotely reconciled. Right now, those seeking the TLM simply don’t have the routine, hard numbers for the Church to take it seriously as a pastoral concern.
    …and the theology suffers as a result.

  60. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Gilbert Fritz: …we should remember that “traditionalists” have gone through a lot in the last 47 years…

    That is only almost true. Unfortunately the statement continues the myth that imposition of the novus ordo in 1970 was the start of the suppression of traditional liturgy.

    Those of us in the pews marked almost nothing particulary noteworthy with the arrival of the NO in 1970, compared to the sudden and stunning shock of what had been inflicted with absolute authoritarian force five years earlier. The draconian transmogrification of Roman Catholic liturgical culture had taken place in even the smallest and remotest of US parishes almost overnight in 1965. It was a literally irresistible Blitzkrieg by Kirchenführern both high and low, who supported the change or had not the courage to resist…long before the NO.

    I do not understand the almost universal tendency by some traditionalists to attach the date of the NO to the denial of two millennia of church culture. By 1970, the NO was only a ho-hum no-never–mind “whatever” minor addition to what had already changed. By 1970, those few of us still around were numb and senseless.

Comments are closed.