The demographics of the Church are on the move, at least in these USA. We will, in the next few years, witness a dramatic drop in numbers of those who bother with the Church at all. Everything will have to change. Meanwhile, members of the Synod (“walking together”) are fooling around with the same old same old.
I have a strong feeling that, as things change and market forces work and the Marshall Plan set in motion in 2007 exerts itself, it shall come to pass that the traditional Roman Rite will take on such importance that it may become the predominant form in many places.
This won’t happen overnight or at the same pace in every place. But I think it will happen. Huge swaths of the Church are auto-demolishing or simply become another religion… if they haven’t already. On the other hand, the numbers of those who are turning to Tradition are on the rise.
Fr. Cipolla has an interesting observation in a piece called: “This Evening I saw the Future of the Church: The Future is the Traditional Mass”
So it is precisely while the Synod for Youth is meeting in Rome in quasi-secrecy that I saw the Future this evening. I was invited to sit in choir during a Traditional Solemn Mass in a parish church of my diocese. The celebrant, the pastor of the parish, the deacon and the sub-deacon were each young priests of the diocese. The Mass was celebrated with no frills, no excesses, no sign of aestheticism. The Feast was the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, instituted by Pius XI to celebrate the anniversary of the Council of Ephesus, at which Mary was proclaimed as Theotokos, the bearer of God, affirming the full divinity of the person of Christ. The music of the Mass was all Gregorian chant, Mass IX. The servers were all young men, some new to this, some quite practiced in serving this Mass. It was the worship of God in its purest form, in its traditional form, a form whose liturgical modesty and reticence invites prayer and therefore worship. The sacred ministers gave themselves over to their roles in the Mass in a naturally self-effacing way. They knew the proper tones for the various chants and sang them well. The sermon was intelligent and truly Catholic. These three men made worship possible by getting themselves out of the way and letting the rite speak for itself.
Many of the young priests in my diocese have learnt the Traditional Roman Mass, aka the Extraordinary Form. They love this Mass in a sober way without any hint of “high church” prancing or panting. They love Christ and his Church. They are loyal to the teaching of the Magisterium. They are priests who are at home in any situation and who enjoy each other’s company. They enjoy the company of both men and women in their parishes. The bureaucrats who run the Church do not know that these priests exist. And that is good. For while the bureaucrats are running around at synods and conferences and trying to put out noxious fires without the water of moral purity and therefore failing every time: these young priests, not only in my diocese, but in most dioceses through the Catholic world, are just learning once again how to worship and are discovering the beauty of worship, and they are teaching this to their flock. And they, and the Traditional Mass they love,— they are the Future of the Church.
He is dead right, of course.
Back in August, I posted a similar observation HERE.
Each August, seminarians of the diocese get together with bishop for a week or so. They hang out together, meet with the bishop individually, hear talks, have some fun, pray together. It was during one of these summers that I heard the bishop tell the men that he wanted them all to know how to say the older, traditional form of Mass when they are ordained. He hasn’t forced or prodded of brought it up after that, at least in my hearing. But, these guys know that he has their back and, as priests, will have their back in the parishes. They are also men of their day, who are not ensorcelled by the aging-hippie cant of those halcyon days of Vatican II. They’ve seen the “springtime” of destruction in the Church that has resulted. They grew up with John Paul II and Benedict XVI. They don’t think that, as I saw in a Tweet today, “Gift of Finest Wheat” is being sung by the choirs of heaven.
Anyway, these men, during their August gathering, organized on their own a Solemn Mass in the older rite. The celebrant was 1 year ordained. The deacons were newly ordained, a couple months. A priest who was ordained 6 weeks was the MC. There were a few bumps along the way, but I am unspeakably proud of what they accomplished.
I, the old guy, was entirely on the sideline. They did it.
We’ve gotchyer “lío” right here.
In a way, my work is done here.
That doesn’t mean I am going to let up.
And speaking of lío, I saw at Messa in Latino, something about numbers of men who have entered traditional groups.
For 2018-19 some 136 men have entered traditional institutes or orders.
Institute of the Good Shepherd
Institute of Christ The King
Society of the Missionaries of Divine Mercy
And see this story on ordinations in France. HERE
Moreover, I strongly suspect that in US seminaries, most of the young men are open to Tradition if not actively delving into it.