Wednesday, August 12, 2009

K.C. agrees with Pope's Latin Mass critic

Well, at least on one point (see the next purple paragaph!)......U.S. Catholic's July addition carried an article by Ted Rosean which criticizes the Pope's decision to re-introduce and promote use of the Latin Mass. k.c.'s comments are in purple, Rosean's are black.

>>Take a pass on the Latin Mass (July 2009)

>>>>>At one end of the archdiocese where I live, A Mass is held in a gymnasium every Sunday, and a group of lively folk musicians accompany the assembly through a relaxed and informal liturgy. The mood reflects the music. Because it’s a gym, children seem to act less restrained, feeling free to roam a bit. Folding chairs are set up in a semi-circle around a portable altar that this group has used for many years. There are no kneelers, of course, reflecting to some extent the impracticality of portable kneelers, but reflecting to a greater extent the theology of those gathered: These are “looking up to God in trust, not bowing down to God in fear”

Whoah! I think Mr. Rosean is right about something that so many conservative Catholics ignore. i.e. eradicating kneeling does have a theological meaning! When conservatives, like Father Martin Fox don't and won't preach about the Holy Father's kneeler because because they are afraid even mentioning it might undermine the "American Church's norm for receiving Communion" They, the Pope's putative 'friends', are neglecting his teaching about our psychosomatic nature (Pope Benedict's term which means we are soul and body).

K. C. maintains is impossible for the American Church to eradicate kneeling during Communion without diminishing adoration of the Sacrament! If we lose this war, many 'conservatives' who are turning a blind eye to the Pope's brave example will have only themselves to blame ....

Kneeling has meaning, an intensity which all other postures lack. And it is not only intense worship! It is also intense gratitude! humility! Love!(you married men have never knealt before your wives?!) More than anything the aftermath of the Council has ushered in a casual, luke-warm, lackadaisical attitude towards the Holy Mass, and hence towards God. [The Holy Father has an antidote for our bad attitude--Get down!!]
Witness American Catholics, whose veneration--when they feel like doing it--resembles a tentative curtsie or maybe a bow from Liberace. Then witness Catholics in the former Soviet Republics whose churches are packed with people of all ages dropping to their knees on bare stone floors to receive Holy Communion! Who's fervent and who's lukewarm about worshipping Jesus?

>>>>....nurturing a view of church and theology that was born at the Second Vatican Council. I know many of these Catholics and consider them to be very good people. Their liturgy is, I believe, a scandal.
At the other end of the archdiocese, a priest adorned in shimmering vestments murmurs prayers in Latin, facing the tabernacle, his voice barely audible to the assembly of worshipers kneeling behind him. Many of these are silently and privately praying the rosary. At certain moments there is an exchange of words between the priest and the assembly. These words are in Latin.
The atmosphere is reverent, reflecting to some extent the mood naturally created by silence, candles, and Latin, but reflecting to a greater extent the theology of those gathered: These are “kneeling before God in awe, not back-slapping brother Jesus” Catholics, preserving a view of church and theology that was mostly set aside at the Second Vatican Council. I know one of the people in the assembly to be one of the finest human beings alive. He is my father, and his liturgy is, I believe, a scandal.
An outsider observing the two rituals would never guess they belonged to the same church. And in fact, many of the participants at the respective assemblies might admit that they don’t really share a faith with the participants in the “other” group. This is what makes these liturgies scandalous. They represent such polarized expressions of worship that they drift from the central purpose of liturgy as stated in the introduction of Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Second Vatican Council’s document on liturgy: “to be a sign lifted up among the nations, to those who are outside, a sign under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together until there is one fold and one shepherd.” A church practicing such divergent forms of worship will hardly unite the scattered children of God. [when the mass was celebrated in Latin, in the same manner, in all the earth's corners, that wasn't a sign of unity? ]
Currently we are many folds under a shepherd who last year stirred the pot with his apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, sanctioning wider use of the old Latin or Tridentine Mass. Besides allowing individual parishes to conduct Latin Masses at the pastor’s discretion, secondhand reports suggest that Pope Benedict XVI would like to see a Latin Mass offered at every parish. Upon hearing this, I felt a rumbling that I’m certain was John XXIII, the pope who opened Vatican II, rolling in his grave. ............

....., the Latin replaced Greek because people understood Latin, and using Latin allowed more people to understand what was going on. In 1965 the church once again came to the seemingly obvious conclusion that people should understand what is being said in Mass.
The Mass that emerged from the reform of Vatican II is wonderful, divine, human, and sublime. It works, and it is enormously superior to the Tridentine rite.[nice pontification there!] We do not need to celebrate an old rite. We need to get more people to celebrate the existing rite well.
The stakes are high. We participate in the liturgy to praise God and to be transformed so that we can transform the world. We need to do this together. We cannot gather the scattered children of God together if we ourselves are scattered.

Rosean uses terms 'drop back' 'rewind' 'old 'turning their backs to the monumental progress' to refer to the Pope's new emphasis upon the Latin Mass. He thinks these terms are pejoratives. Mr. Rosean! What does Faber's hymn 'Faith of our Fathers' mean to you ?

If your theme really is 'not your father's church!' then you sneer at 1,936 years of Catholic history prior to the age of Aquarius!

We are Catholics. This means our fellowship encompasses not only the entire World, but all of those who came before us. We're stuck with that.

I think Flannery O'connor once said that if the Eucharist were just a symbol, "then to hell with it."
Maybe you can see where I am going with this.
Fill in the blanks:
If it's not our fathers' church, then it's not the Church Jesus Christ founded!
If it's not our fathers' church, then -------------
[Rosean's article can be found here....]


1 comment:

  1. I attended my first traditional latin mass this week and, at 35 years of age, I feel that we have missed out on something by it's near irradication since the Second Vatican Council. Currently, I have only one opportunity to attend latin mass a month, at a weekday lunchtime service at my Diocesan Cathedral.

    I think argument that the venacular mass is better (because people understand it is a weak one). Let's not forget that people who's native language is Portuguese, Spanish, Italian or French would not have to make a giant leap to understand ecclesiatical latin. How many Catholics around the world can speak these languages? There is apparently 40,000,000 Spanish speakers in the United States. I've been studying Spanish for two years and can pick up a lot of the basic latin words in the main prayers without too much problem.

    My experience of the latin mass was one of being completely humbled. I could not "participate" in the way I normally do. It made me realise how much ego played a part of the way I normally assist in the novus ordo mass.

    I hope that one day my local parish will have one traditional latin mass a week.