Sunday, November 15, 2015

Responding to a Traditionalist


This post is in response to Jayne, a traditionalist who has commented that I am not being fair to traditionalists by painting them all with the same brush.  We have gone back and forth on a prior post [HERE].  I was ready to end our debate, but Jayne wants to continue, so here goes.  

OK, Jayne, You really want to continue this discussion, so we will. First, I think we need to go back and assess just what our disagreements are because it is becoming somewhat muddled. I, therefore, return to your original comment. 

You came here to tell me that not all traditionalists are as radical as I have experienced. Your comment was:
I think your criticisms against traditionalists would be more reasonable if you were clearer that your comments only apply to some rather than to all trads. As a traditionalist I feel unfairly attacked by what you said about us.
In your second comment to me, you clarified your positions in regard to the post-conciliar church, your point being to show that, even though you identify as a traditionalist, you do not fit into my experiences with traditionalists.

Like all traditionalists, you believe the EF is superior to the Ordinary Form of the Mass, which you say is theologically detrimental to the faith. Despite that, you accept the validity of the OF Mass. To quote you: "Because Christ is truly present there, it deserves a certain respect."

Jayne, I must ask you to think about the words you used: The OF deserves a "certain" respect? The presence of Jesus Christ deserves a "certain respect"? How would you feel if someone said that about the TLM? Don't you see, Jayne, how condescending that statement is?

If I am understanding correctly, you are now trying to tell me that, contrary to your first statements, you do not consider the EF to be superior to the OF. You now say that the problem with the OF is just that it is not clear in its theology. and that is what makes it "detrimental". But I really can't accept that because you are only protesting after I pointed out that such positions are contrary to the teachings of the Church. Are we suppose to just ignore your initial statements which indicate your clear disdain for the OF even though you feel it deserves a "certain respect"?

You initially wrote that you "do not question the faith of people merely because they attend it [OF] and I am sure that there are many good Catholics who do so." I am somewhat amazed that you cannot see the patronizing, condescending nature of that statement. But at the same time, you certainly do separate yourself from many other traditionalists who feel that anyone who does not attend the EF cannot truly be Catholic.

You also wrote: "I make no claims about what proportion of priests and bishops are heretics because I have insufficient information." Again, I do have to admit, Jayne, that I do not hear other trads make such an honest statement. Most trads I have known - and certainly those who blog - do not hesitate to declare the vast majority of priests and bishops are heretics who are intent on destroying the faith. It is refreshing to hear a traditionalist who does not make such an accusation.

Still, I have some questions. You wrote: "There are certainly some [priests and bishops] who have made heterodox statements and I consider this a very serious problem. I place a high value on doctrinal orthodoxy." That is a very general statement. As I have written, there have always been wayward bishops and priests, starting with Judas. As St. Thomas Aquinas has told us, there are times when the laity should question individual priests/bishops. But in order to understand your statement, I need to know what you consider "heterodox" and who are these priests and bishops who trouble you.

I am also curious as to your opinion in regard to Pope Francis. Almost every traditionalist I know and read has basically condemned him. You have not mentioned the Holy Father at all.

You also wrote that you are troubled by Vatican II documents because they "have a tendency to ambiguity which is a serious flaw." Just what ambiguities are we talking about? If you wish to discuss this, I need specific examples.

You wrote:
As Pope Benedict pointed out, this [ambiguities] allowed for a hermeneutic of rupture that has been a destructive force in the Church. Vatican II must be interpreted in light of Tradition. I think it needs clarification so that it will only be interpreted this way. I would like to see such clarification rather than rejection as heretical.
Just where did Pope Benedict point this out? Can you give me his exact words?  The speeches I have read by  Pope Benedict completely contradict your assertion.   As I said, I once felt just as you do about Vatican II, but it was Pope Benedict's praise of Vatican II that made me see how wrong I was. Everything I have read makes it clear Pope Benedict taught it was wrong to say Vatican II "allowed" for any kind of rupture.

This is what Pope Benedict said in December 2005:
On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call "a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture"; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology. On the other, there is the "hermeneutic of reform", of renewal in the continuity of the one subject-Church which the Lord has given to us. She is a subject which increases in time and develops, yet always remaining the same, the one subject of the journeying People of God.
Pope Benedict explains the erroneous view of the hermeneutic of discontinuity:
The hermeneutic of discontinuity risks ending in a split between the pre-conciliar Church and the post-conciliar Church. It asserts that the texts of the Council as such do not yet express the true spirit of the Council. It claims that they are the result of compromises in which, to reach unanimity, it was found necessary to keep and reconfirm many old things that are now pointless. However, the true spirit of the Council is not to be found in these compromises but instead in the impulses toward the new that are contained in the texts.
Pope Benedict explains the true nature of the Council as taught by Pope St. John XXIII:
The hermeneutic of discontinuity is countered by the hermeneutic of reform, as it was presented first by Pope John XXIII in his Speech inaugurating the Council on 11 October 1962 and later by Pope Paul VI in his Discourse for the Council's conclusion on 7 December 1965.

Here I shall cite only John XXIII's well-known words, which unequivocally express this hermeneutic when he says that the Council wishes "to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion". And he continues: "Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us...". It is necessary that "adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness..." be presented in "faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another...", retaining the same meaning and message (The Documents of Vatican II, Walter M. Abbott, S.J., p. 715).
Pope Benedict defends the integrity of the Second Vatican Council with these words:
The Second Vatican Council, with its new definition of the relationship between the faith of the Church and certain essential elements of modern thought, has reviewed or even corrected certain historical decisions, but in this apparent discontinuity it has actually preserved and deepened her inmost nature and true identity.
The Church, both before and after the Council, was and is the same Church, one, holy, catholic and apostolic, journeying on through time; she continues "her pilgrimage amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of God", proclaiming the death of the Lord until he comes (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 8).
So, Jayne, please give me the links to read Pope Benedict's contradiction of his own statements in regard to the Second Vatican Council.  

You can read the entire speech by Pope Benedict XVI HERE. It is interesting to note that in this speech Pope Benedict fiercely defends religious freedom, a major sticking point for traditionalists. Do you also have a problem with the idea of religious freedom, Jayne? 

I now go to your latest comment.  You start out by writing:
I do not think that I have everything figured out. Leading the Church is not my job. I am responsible for the duties of my state of life, while depending on prayer and the Sacraments. And I am not doing this anywhere near as well as I ought to be. I am more concerned about that than about how anyone else is doing his job. I do not condemn the hierarchy of the Church. I pray for them.
If you truly mean these words, I can only say, 'Bravo!!" That is exactly the point I am trying to make. If this is what you truly believe, then I can only say we are in total agreement on the fundamental issues.

But you then wrote:
I do not have an attitude of willfulness and rebellion. There is no point talking to you about blogs when I see how ready you are to judge me. You are not capable of recognizing it when a trad does not fit your image of trads.
Ah, Jayne,  You know that's a copout.  You don't talk to me about traditionalist blogs that support the Magesterium of the Church because no such animal exists, and you know it.  So please be honest about that.

You then wrote:
I think that Cardinal Sarah, the Pope Emeritus, and various other prelates would agree with my assessment of the OF. Acknowledging that it has serious flaws is not a rejection of the Magisterium. And, yes, adding the traditional Offertory would go a long way toward allowing a clearer expression of Eucharistic theology. That is the one change that would do the most good.
Certainly Cardinal Sarah, Pope Benedict and others have talked about changes and corrections to the Ordinary Form as it is now practiced that they feel would be helpful.  They are part of the Magesterium of the Church, and we should always be willing to listen to them.

But you, Jayne, are going too far when you claim that they see "serious flaws" in the Church.  As I have shown both Cardinal Sarah and Pope Benedict have talked about the validity and sacredness of the OF.  I suggest that you once again read Summorum Pontificum, which praises both forms of the Mass equally.  I suggest you once again read the article about Cardinal Sarah's suggestions.  This is in complete contradiction to your assertions.

You wrote:
I am saying, just like Cardinal Sarah, that the theology of the Mass has not changed. The OF is a valid Catholic Mass. The problem is that it is not sufficiently clear that it has not changed. The problem should be fixed. Somehow you get from this position of mine to claiming that I have condemned the hierarchy.
You may be saying now that "the theology of the Mass has not changed."  But that most definitely contradicts your first statement in which you said,
The creators of the NO made a deliberate decision to downplay themes that might be problematic for Protestants and so it is less clear on such subjects as transubstantiation, propitiation, and sacrifice. While I am willing to concede that this was well intended as a form of outreach, I think that hindsight shows it did not succeed and the shift in emphasis has been detrimental to the Faith.
Please tell me where Cardinal Sarah, Pope Benedict or any other non-traditionalist cleric has said the "shift in emphasis" has been "detrimental to the faith?"  Only hardcore traditionalists make this claim.

You then wrote:
There are several books on the process of creating the OF, at least one of them by a member of the committee which worked on it. My "terrible accusation" is a well-established fact. One of their goals was to make the Mass more accessible to Protestants. It is no secret that this was the reason they had Protestant observers. There is nothing terrible about saying that a well-intentioned attempt at outreach had a bad side-effect. Can you honestly not see that certain ideas have been downplayed in the OF and there was a shift in theological emphasis?
You are going to have to tell me specifically which books these are and who wrote them.  The only ones I have ever seen making this accusation are, again, hardcore traditionalists such as Michael Davies, who was a strong supporter of the SSPX and Archbishop Lefebvre.  When did Pope Benedict, Cardinal Sarah or any other non-traditionalist cleric make any statements even alluding to this accusation?

The OF was created at the request of Blessed Pope Paul VI and given his approval. As Pope, he was infallible in faith and morals, and that most certainly includes the Mass. Your accusation must include Blessed Pope Paul VI as much as it includes anyone else. Are you saying that the Holy Spirit allowed Pope Paul VI to create a Mass which would be harmful to the people? Did the Holy Spirit somehow fall down on the job? Did Christ lie when he said the gates of hell will never prevail against the Church? Did God the Father give us snakes when we asked for fish (Matthew 7:10)? That is what your statement is implying.

I spent almost four decades in a protestant church.  I can tell you that as long as Catholics claim the Eucharist is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, there is nothing that will make the Mass acceptable to them.  This claim that the Mass was changed to be made acceptable to protestants is completely ludicrous on its face.  

There is a very interesting defense of the Pauline Mass which can be found HERE.  The author talks about the specific charges you, Jayne, have made.  
In the foreword to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal states:
The Sacrificial character of the Mass was solemnly defined by the Council of Trent in accordance with the universal tradition of the Church (Session 22, Sep. 17, 1562). The Second Vatican Council has enunciated this same teaching once again, and made this highly significant comment: "At the Last Supper our Saviour instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. He did this in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross until he should come again;" (Constitution On the Sacred Liturgy #47).
This foreword describes the New Order of the Mass as a sacrifice of praise, thanksgiving, propitiation and satisfaction, thus affirming doctrines that Protestants specifically deny. The Pauline Mass affirms these things; it was not designed to please Protestants by compromising Catholic doctrine whatsoever (Whitehead, p. 80).

What about the charge of the Mass being Protestantized? After all, there is more hymn singing, vernacular liturgy, a greater emphasis on the Scriptures, etc. The fact is that "the early church had some of the same things-hymn singing, vernacular liturgy, greater emphasis on the Scriptures- and that, finally, the fact that the Church has adopted these particular things today means that they are really compatible with Catholic worship." (Whitehead, 82).

One thing that must be noted of the input of Protestant observers at Vatican II. On July 4, 1976, the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship unequivocally declared: "The Protestant observers did not participate in the composition of the texts of the new Missal." (Documentation Catholique #58, 1976, page 649). What is clear in the Pauline Rite Mass? It reflects the Eucharistic Sacrifice as a propitiatory work offered for the living and the dead; concerning the Transubstantiation of the bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ; concerning the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the saints; concerning prayer for the dead- are all points on which Protestants continue to disagree with the Catholic Church but all of which are explicitly present in the Pauline Rite Mass. (Whitehead, p. 85).

For those who say the Mass is Protestantized, there is one question to ask?

Do you know of one Protestant church who celebrates the Pauline Rite liturgy and any of the 4 Eucharistic prayers? No, the proof is in the pudding. No Protestant services recognize any of these distinctly Catholic doctrines.
Jayne, you next wrote:
"But the trads are saying that our worst enemy is the Magesterium. They are telling us that Pope Francis wants to destroy the Church, and most bishops and priests are just as bad."
Why are you telling me what trads say instead of listening to me? I am a trad and I am not saying that or thinking that. That you infer such things from my comments on the Mass shows that there is a problem with your judgement.
Jayne, I am listening to you.  You do not use the harsh and condemnatory language I am so use to getting from traditionalists.  But you are still making the same accusations, as I have shown.  The more I challenge you, the more you try to soften your tone, but you are still saying the same thing.

You continued:
The Mass is the source and summit of our Faith. It is not some trad idiosyncrasy to believe that; it is a basic Catholic teaching. Problems involving the Mass have serious repercussions. Lack of theological clarity, liturgical abuses, poor translations (only corrected recently for English) are problems that need to be addressed. The TLM needs to be widely available so that all the faithful who wish can have access to it. The OF needs its problems dealt with. I am really grateful that Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Sarah who appears to have such a good grasp on the situation.
Yes, there were problems that had to be corrected in the Ordinary Form of the Mass.  It is interesting that the translations that were corrected involved only the English translations.  Spanish, French and most every other language did not have to be corrected.  So it was not a problem with the Mass itself but with the translations that were being used.  And yes, most certainly, there have been terrible liturgical abuses.  But does that mean that the Mass is inherently "detrimental" to the faith?  Abuses mean that the Mass was not being celebrated as it was intended.  That is the problem with the celebrants, not the Mass.

I love the TLM and would love to see it made widely available.  However, contrary to the views of traditionalists, there are really only a small number of people who are really interested in it.  Here in Brooklyn we have many, many tens of thousands of Catholics who attend weekly Mass.  We have one TLM which is attended by about 60 people at best.  Those in charge publicize it constantly, but no one else is interested.  Even in Manhattan, a huge metropolitan community, there are only a few Latin Masses at which maybe a total of 1000 people attend, and that is being generous.  Most of those people do not even live in Manhattan.  The Ordinary Form of the Mass is called the "Ordinary Form" because it is the primary Mass of the Church, and it will remain so.

Yes, I also believe Cardinal Sarah has a "good grasp on the situation."  One thing we have not mentioned is that Cardinal Sarah, like Pope Benedict, feels that "It is entirely consistent with the conciliar constitution, it is indeed opportune that, during the rite of penance, the singing of the Gloria, the orations, and the Eucharistic prayer, everyone, priest and faithful, should turn together towards the East, to express their will to participate in the work of worship and of redemption accomplished by Christ,"  I think this would be wonderful.  And as you will note, this has nothing to do with making the OF more like the EF.  As the Cardinal states, "It is entirely consistent with the conciliar constitution."  Cardinal Sarah is looking to remain true to Vatican II, not to the Traditional Latin Mass.

I really don't know what more I can say to you, Jayne. As I said, I'm not sure we are accomplishing anything here. You are telling me things I once believed with all my heart and have since disproven, so there is no way you are ever going to convince me. I am trying to get ideas across to you that you reject because it does not fit in with what you want to believe. It seems to be we are pretty much at a standstill.

20 comments:

  1. If I am understanding correctly, you are now trying to tell me that, contrary to your first statements, you do not consider the EF to be superior to the OF. You now say that the problem with the OF is just that it is not clear in its theology. and that is what makes it "detrimental".

    You are not understanding correctly. I do consider the EF to be superior to the OF. I think it is superior because it is a clearer expression of Catholic theology.

    Lack of clarity is detrimental to the Faith. I have not changed my position. This is what I have been trying to say all along.

    Still, I have some questions. You wrote: "There are certainly some [priests and bishops] who have made heterodox statements and I consider this a very serious problem. I place a high value on doctrinal orthodoxy." That is a very general statement. As I have written, there have always been wayward bishops and priests, starting with Judas. As St. Thomas Aquinas has told us, there are times when the laity should question individual priests/bishops. But in order to understand your statement, I need to know what you consider "heterodox" and who are these priests and bishops who trouble you.

    An example of something that I found heterodox was the homily of a guest priest at my local parish (where I was attending the OF). He said that rules do not matter and we should not talk about sin; only love and mercy matter.

    "I am also curious as to your opinion in regard to Pope Francis. Almost every traditionalist I know and read has basically condemned him. You have not mentioned the Holy Father at all."

    I find the Holy Father confusing, frustrating and hurtful. I struggle with reconciling my feelings with the loyalty and respect due to the Vicar of Christ.

    "You also wrote that you are troubled by Vatican II documents because they "have a tendency to ambiguity which is a serious flaw." Just what ambiguities are we talking about? If you wish to discuss this, I need specific examples."

    For example, Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate were sufficiently ambiguous that they were being widely misinterpreted. Their meaning needed further clarification which was done in the CDF document Dominus Iesus.

    You wrote: "As Pope Benedict pointed out, this [ambiguities] allowed for a hermeneutic of rupture that has been a destructive force in the Church. Vatican II must be interpreted in light of Tradition. I think it needs clarification so that it will only be interpreted this way. I would like to see such clarification rather than rejection as heretical."

    Just where did Pope Benedict point this out? Can you give me his exact words? The speeches I have read by Pope Benedict completely contradict your assertion....
    So, Jayne, please give me the links to read Pope Benedict's contradiction of his own statements in regard to the Second Vatican Council.


    After the part of the speech which you quoted, Pope Benedict went on to say, "In his Discourse closing the Council, Paul VI pointed out a further specific reason why a hermeneutic of discontinuity can seem convincing." After several paragraphs of details, he said, "It is clear that in all these sectors, which all together form a single problem, some kind of discontinuity might emerge. Indeed, a discontinuity had been revealed but in which, after the various distinctions between concrete historical situations and their requirements had been made, the continuity of principles proved not to have been abandoned. It is easy to miss this fact at a first glance." If you read that section you can see that there are several areas which Pope Benedict identified as appearing to be in discontinuity with tradition at first glance.

    (to be continued)

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  2. (part 2)

    Do you also have a problem with the idea of religious freedom, Jayne?

    My problem with the idea of religious freedom is that many (perhaps most) people think of this term in the way it was framed by Enlightenment philosophers rather than in a way that is compatible with Catholicism. Vatican II contained statements to prevent this but they seem to be largely ignored.

    Please tell me where Cardinal Sarah, Pope Benedict or any other non-traditionalist cleric has said the "shift in emphasis" has been "detrimental to the faith?" Only hardcore traditionalists make this claim.

    Any objective person who compares the two forms of Mass side by side can see there is a shift in emphasis. Have you ever made this comparison? The EF has more emphasis on propitiatory sacrifice and transubstantiation. The OF has more emphasis on community and the heavenly banquet, and this comes at the expense of the other ideas. It seems likely there is a connection with the loss of emphasis in the Mass and the current widespread poor understanding of these ideas. While I do not know of any
    explicit statements, Pope Benedict's general sympathy toward traditionalists indicates that he sees some legitimacy in our views. If we were really the rebellious rejecters of the Church you paint us as, it does seem likely he would have acted as he did.

    You are going to have to tell me specifically which books these are and who wrote them.

    The only book about creating the new Mass which I am sure you will accept as not being by a traditionalist is The Reform of the Liturgy (1948-1975) by Anabile Bugnini.

    As I already mentioned, it is difficult for me to respond to such a long post with so many points in it. It is hard to tell what you actually want me to respond to.

    I am sure that I have overlooked some things. I think we could communicate better if we only dealt with one or two points at a time.

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    1. Your responses here are all very revealing. For example, I ask you to give me examples of heterodox statements made by priests and bishops, and all you give me is an example of a local homily you heard by an unnamed priest. There is no way I can see the context of these "heterodox" statements, no way I can corroborate your extremely subjective statement. Certainly there are public statements that trouble you, but you know I will most likely be able to shoot them down, so you won't give me one.

      I also find it interesting that you are now standing by your statement that the EF is superior to the OF. There is nothing wrong with saying that you prefer the EF to the OF, but to say that one form is superior to the other goes completely against Summorum Pontificum and the teaching of the Magesterium, as I have already shown. As you have admitted, Jesus Christ is present in both Masses. Jayne, you are rejecting the teaching of the Church.

      Your most revealing statement concerns your reaction to Pope Francis:

      I find the Holy Father confusing, frustrating and hurtful. I struggle with reconciling my feelings with the loyalty and respect due to the Vicar of Christ.

      Jayne, if you had been a Jew in the first century, there is no doubt you would have found Jesus Christ "confusing, frustrating and hurtful." Jesus Christ seemingly flaunted the foundation of Jewish beliefs. He "broke" the Sabbath. He associated not only with non-Jews, but with known sinners. He touched unclean people such as lepers. He refused to condemn sinners, including a woman who was actually found in the act of adultery. His closest followers included tax collectors - Jews who stole from other Jews - prostitutes, the lowest of society. He made unbelievable statements such as, "You must eat my body and drink my blood." Anathema!! Any self-respecting Jew would run as far away from this man as he could.

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    2. Pope Francis challenges all of us - including traditionalists - in a way no pope in our time ever has. Like Jesus Christ when he walked the earth, Pope Francis is telling us that people are more important than rules. Following the rules means nothing if we don't truly love one another. Jesus Christ said, he did not come to condemn the world but to save it. Pope Francis is telling us that he doesn't care how badly we sin. He accepts us and beckons us to Jesus Christ who can wipe away any sin. Like Jesus Christ, Pope Francis refuses to condemn sinners. This frustrates and confuses anyone who places first importance on the rules, as traditionalists do.

      Just as the Jewish leaders in Jesus' time could not accept Jesus Christ because he did not abide by their rules, so the traditionalists and other fundamentalists cannot accept Pope Francis because he does not abide by their rules. The Jewish leaders believed they knew it all and never doubted themselves. Traditionalists believe they know it all and never doubt themselves.

      This can clearly be seen in your statements, Jayne. I constantly link to other sources to prove my points, showing that these are not just my opinions. All you give me is your personal opinions and interpretations. Look at traditional blogs - it is all opinions and personal interpretations. They come with a certain point of view, and condemn anyone - priests, bishops or pope - who does not agree with them.

      A Christian is someone who has total trust in Jesus Christ that he will never leave us or forsake us. At the same time, a Christian has no trust in himself. He constantly questions himself, never trusting in his own opinions, always ready to admit he is wrong, As Christians, we never question our belief in God. But we constantly question our belief in ourselves.

      As I have told you, the purpose of my blog has become to promote loyalty and trust in the the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ and the Magesterium of the Catholic Church. I believe this is the only place on earth that the fullness of the truth can be found. It doesn't matter whether I understand or not. My personal understanding and knowledge will not save me. I can only be saved if I fully trust Jesus Christ.

      Think about it, Jayne.

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  3. I get the feeling that you were asking me questions not out of any desire to understand me, but to look for ammunition to use against me. And when I did not say something you could use against me, you just made it up.

    Certainly there are public statements that trouble you, but you know I will most likely be able to shoot them down, so you won't give me one.

    I honestly could not think of any public statements. I have not come across any recently. Clearly heretical statements are rare and even then the conditions for formal heresy are not likely to be met. You said that you wanted to understand the sort of thing that I consider heresy and my answer addressed that. Apparently what you really wanted was things to shoot down.

    I also find it interesting that you are now standing by your statement that the EF is superior to the OF.

    I have been taking the same position all along, trying to express it in different ways to get you to understand it. You keep misunderstanding me; I have not been changing position.

    There is nothing wrong with saying that you prefer the EF to the OF, but to say that one form is superior to the other goes completely against Summorum Pontificum and the teaching of the Magesterium, as I have already shown. As you have admitted, Jesus Christ is present in both Masses. Jayne, you are rejecting the teaching of the Church.

    Exactly what teaching of the Church am I rejecting. I can not find anything in Summorum Pontificum or its accompnaying letter to bishops that says that the faithful are not allowed to believe that one form is superior to another. What you "have already shown" is a quote that says communities cannot on principle exclude the OF. Even if we assume that this applies to individuals as well, it is not what I am doing. I am acknowledging the OF as a valid Catholic Mass at which Christ is present. When I attend it (which I sometimes do), I do so with as much reverence and devotion as I am capable of.

    Your most revealing statement concerns your reaction to Pope Francis:

    I honestly shared with you my hurt and struggles and your response was to lecture me and tell me what is wrong with trads. You showed no compassion whatsoever for my pain. You claim that the purpose of your blog is "to promote loyalty and trust in the the guidance of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus Christ and the Magesterium of the Catholic Church." You are going about it entirely the wrong way. You have mentioned several times that you have found various comments of mine to be patronizing. That
    is the overall tone of almost everything you write. Talking down to people does not promote loyalty and trust. It promotes resentment.

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    1. I am at work and will not be able to respond until either later today or tomorrow.

      As I said, I doubt that we can ever come to an agreement, but I will give it another try.

      Delete
    2. Jayne, if you are going to take everything I write as a personal criticism and not actually answer anything I say, then this debate has become completely senseless. You really didn't answer any of my points, so how am I suppose to respond to you? I have answered your arguments as best as i can, and all I get back from you is that I am mean. That is not how a debate works.

      How am I suppose to answer this:

      I get the feeling that you were asking me questions not out of any desire to understand me, but to look for ammunition to use against me. And when I did not say something you could use against me, you just made it up.

      I am sure you will take more personal affront, but that is called "whining." You earlier wrote that you are very disturbed by heterodox statements made by priests and bishops. When I ask you to give me an example so I know what you are talking about, the only thing you can think of is a statement which I cannot see in context and which I cannot corroborate. Now you tell me that you cannot think of any public statements at all. Don't you realize that undermines your argument and again renders our debate useless?

      You write:

      Exactly what teaching of the Church am I rejecting. I can not find anything in Summorum Pontificum or its accompnaying letter to bishops that says that the faithful are not allowed to believe that one form is superior to another. What you "have already shown" is a quote that says communities cannot on principle exclude the OF. Even if we assume that this applies to individuals as well, it is not what I am doing. I am acknowledging the OF as a valid Catholic Mass at which Christ is present. When I attend it (which I sometimes do), I do so with as much reverence and devotion as I am capable of.

      Pope Benedict made it abundantly clear in Summorum Pontificum that the two forms of the Mass are equally sacred, which you deny by saying the EF is superior to the OF. From SP:

      There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.

      By saying that the EF is superior to the OF, you are saying, contrary to Pope Benedict XVI, that there is contradiction between the two forms and that there has been a rupture. May I remind you that your initial statement was that the use of the OF has become detrimental to the faith. That certainly negates its "value and holiness" as stated by Pope Benedict XVI. You tell me you stand by your statements so therefore you are rejecting the teaching of the Magesterium.

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    3. You have really given me nothing more to answer, Jayne. I disagree with you, point out the weaknesses in your argument, and you respond, again, by telling me I am mean and unfair. If that is all your have, then we have come to the end of our discussion.

      You have to understand, Jayne, that a few years ago I was in complete agreement with everything you have written. But after a long, difficult struggle, I came to see that I was wrong and that despite all my good intentions, I was in conflict with the teaching of the Church. I came to realize that I was trusting in my own opinions and my own viewpoint and rejecting everything and everyone who did not agree with me. That is not what being a Christian is about.

      Isaiah 66:2 says: “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word." GK Chesterton said, "A Catholic is someone who has bucked up the courage to admit that there is something else that is smarter than he is.”

      I had to admit that I didn't know it all, and that even though I may not always understand, the Magesterium is smarter than me. The Magesterium - which is the infallible teaching body of the Catholic Church - gave us the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and as you Jayne, admit, Jesus Christ is present at that Mass. If Jesus Christ is present, then it is a Holy Mass and one that I needed to acknowledge as such. I had no right to stand in judgment of that Mass, which I was doing, or in judgment of the Christ's Mystical Body or His Vicar.

      That is my whole point. I reject traditionalism because it is all about judging the Magesterium of the Church. You, Jayne, are trying to tell me that you are not judging the Church. When I point out to you that your own words contradict that statement, you get angry at me.

      Unless you have new arguments, then I'm afraid our discussion has come to a close. I can't debate you when all you have to say to me is that I am mean.

      God bless you in your spiritual journey.

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  4. That is not how a debate works.

    I did not realize that we were having a debate. A debate is people defending opposing positions. It is, by nature, adversarial. I thought you wanted a discussion for two of us to seek the truth together. Isn't that what you meant with your picture that says "seek what is right not who is right"? If you think this is a debate, what exactly is the proposition you are defending? Perhaps it is "All trads are bad Catholics." That would explain a lot.

    Pope Benedict made it abundantly clear in Summorum Pontificum that the two forms of the Mass are equally sacred, which you deny by saying the EF is superior to the OF.

    I have not denied that they are equally sacred. I have explicitly said that they are. It does not follow from saying that one is superior to the other that they are not equally sacred.

    By saying that the EF is superior to the OF, you are saying, contrary to Pope Benedict XVI, that there is contradiction between the two forms and that there has been a rupture. May I remind you that your initial statement was that the use of the OF has become detrimental to the faith. That certainly negates its "value and holiness" as stated by Pope Benedict XVI. You tell me you stand by your statements so therefore you are rejecting the teaching of the Magesterium.

    I do not reject the teaching of the Magisterium. I reject your interpretation of the teaching and your misrepresentation of my position. I have not said (nor do I think) that there is a contradiction between the two forms or that there has been a rupture. That is a straw man argument that you have made up. It is not implied by the position that the TLM is superior to the OF. My initial statement is not what you claim above. I said "the shift in emphasis [on theological themes] has been detrimental to the Faith." I explained that certain key elements of Eucharistic theology were less clearly expressed in the OF. I never said that it lacks "value and holiness." I do not think that it lacks "value and holiness." I did not imply that it lacks "value and holiness." Just because you choose to read that into my words, does not mean that I am rejecting the Magisterium.

    You may benefit from questioning yourself about why you have this need to see trads as bad guys. Perhaps you want to see yourself as heroically defending the Faith so you need to create opponents to battle. Maybe you like thinking of how enlightened and humble you are now that you are no longer a trad. You are not going to promote any sort of good with the way that you treat people. You are not helping the Church which is your excuse for doing this. You really need to examine yourself.

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    1. Jayne, we are discussing, debating or arguing or whatever you want to call it, the same points over and over again. You keep forcing me to repeat myself and quite frankly I am tired of it. And I am not interested in discussing or debating or arguing semantics. All I can say to your comment is see above. There is nothing more that I can add.

      Have a nice day.

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  5. If you keep insisting that people think things that they do not think, of course the discussion will not go anywhere. At first I thought that you might be honestly misunderstanding what I was saying, but that no longer seems to be a possibility. Your "points" are wrong and you just say them over and over again instead of listening and learning.

    Instead of claiming that other people reject Summorum Pontificum think about how you reject it by your belligerent attitude to trads. Think about this part:

    Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew.

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    1. I wasn't going to reply to this, Jayne. But I've read this part from SP, and I really don't see how it supports your statement that the "theology of the OF" is detrimental to the faith. You did not include the very important statement which begins the paragraph that you quote:

      I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church.

      In this statement, Pope Benedict was not talking about the Mass at all. He is clearly talking here about the relationship between traditionalists and church authority. He is saying here that he feels that too many in Church authority were ignoring those who still wanted the TLM. And no one can deny the truthfulness of that statement.

      Certainly Pope Benedict is recognizing the validity and sacredness of the EF. But when Pope Benedict XVI's statements are put in context, it can be clearly seen that he is not talking about the Mass at all. He is speaking about the relationship between church authorities and those who love the EF. He blames some church authorities for at least part the division between trads and the rest of the Church because "not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden."

      Just as Pope Benedict was bending backwards trying to bring the SSPX back into full unity with the Church, this is what he was trying to do with traditionalists in general with his Motu Proprio. And it seems just as the SSPX basically spit in the Pope's face, so the traditionalists have twisted the intent of Summorum Pontificum and used it to create even more division.

      Now, post Summorum Pontificum, trads feel even more emboldened to criticize and condemn Church authority, as can be plainly seen on traditionalist blogs. They show even less respect for the Ordinary Form of the Mass and the post conciliar church than they did before. They have willfully and it seems, almost gleefully, separated themselves even more from the rest of the Church. Since the Synod, I can’t count how many traditionalist blogs I have read which have used the words “war” in regard to how they feel about those who disagree with them.

      You quoted the following statement:

      This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew.

      When Pope Benedict XVI reached out to the SSPX, the one condition that he put on them was that they must accept the teachings of Vatican II and they must accept the Ordinary Form of the Mass. They refused. I see the same thing in general with the traditionalist community. Trads see unity only as everyone agreeing with them, most especially the Magesterium of the Church. And if you don’t agree with them, you are called a heretic. I know this from personal experience.

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  6. Actually, I have to say that I agree with Jayne in her original comment:
    "I think your criticisms against traditionalists would be more reasonable if you were clearer that your comments only apply to some rather than to all trads. As a traditionalist I feel unfairly attacked by what you said about us."

    I agree. And I think this is a very reasonable suggestion.
    Your posts do give the impression that you are painting all traditionalists with the same brush, and whilst you might argue semantics, the fact is that this is how it reads and this is either intended or not. If it is, you are guilty of rash judgement. If it is unintended, they you may need to ponder on why it appears this way.

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    1. I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, and that is because I am. You must understand that until relatively recently, I was very much a part of the traditionalist movement. I most definitely believed in the superiority of the TLM. I followed people like Father Z, Michael Voris, Michael Matt, Louie Verrecchio. I believed that the traditionalist movement was the salvation of the Church. And this was true for every traditionalist I knew. I can't count how many conversations I had in which we condemned the Ordinary Form of the Mass and everything else connected with the "Novus Ordo Church." And no traditionalist ever disagreed. I also find this on their blogs. They all say the exact same thing. I have yet to find someone who digresses from this narrative, and that includes both laity and priests.

      Jayne tried to tell me that she does not feel the same way, but if you take the time to read our comments back and forth, it becomes very obvious that she feels exactly like all the traditionalists I have ever known. Jayne said that she accepts the of the OF as valid and as sacred as the EF, yet she will still say the theology of the OF is detrimental to the faith, and that the EF is superior to the OF. Somehow she doesn't see how contradictory her statements are. I asked her to name one traditional blog that supports the Magesterium of the Church, and more specifically Pope Francis, and her only response is that she won't do it because I won't accept it. We all know the real reason she won't do it is because there is no such traditional blog.

      All I am doing is holding a mirror up to the traditionalists and asking them to look at it. I know what I'm talking about because I have been there. I am not speaking as one looking in from the outside. I also cannot and will not apologize for speaking the truth and showing the danger of traditionalism. When you see someone running full speed off the cliff, refusing to heed all warnings, all you can do is grab them. And that is what I see with the traditionalist movement.

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  7. Well, you haven't spoken to all the trads I know personally. Pity, because you'd actually find that not all of them fit the cookie cutter you think they do, despite your previous experience.

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    1. Can you give me any specific examples? How about some blogs? How about you? Just saying they are out there doesn't mean anything without backup. I could say I know some Martians, but without proof, it is meaningless.

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    2. I could name specific persons who would be meaningless to you, but who do actually exist. They are my personal friends with whom I have had long discussions on these issues. They are not from Brooklyn. And even if I named them, I'll be betting you won't accept that as proof as you would then then be forced to concede my point, which you (judging from reading your many responses) just don't do, even in the face of overwhelmingly good arguments. it would challenge your firmly held position which you clearly want to keep.
      As for me, I attend the OF.
      And yes, I could name blogs, and public persons, but I won't. Not because for one second I think you will be able to prove your point in your assessment of them, but because I suspect you will approach them more from the 'Lets find evidence to prove how wrong they are and how right I am' than from a well-intentioned interest in what they can put forward, and I respect them too much to turn them into fodder for 'spiritual pornography'.

      What Jayne was asking was that you substitute your 'all trads' comments to 'some trads. Even 'most trads' would be less offensive. And as a non-trad, I'm asking the same.

      For basic journalistic/blogging merit alone that makes sense. The good points you make would be much more effective (and valid) if you didn't mercilessly pigeon hole all Traditionalists.

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    3. General statements with no proof are meaningless and useless. You want me to write something that my own experience tells me is not true. I cannot and will not do that. Hard core traditionalism is a danger to the faith - both to the individual and to the church as a whole. A reading of any traditional blog sadly bears out this truth. Traditionalists are always butting heads with the mainstream Church, which means they are butting heads with Jesus Christ Himself.

      Summorum Pontificum was Pope Benedict XVI's attempt to bring traditionalists into the mainstream church. He must have honestly believed that all trads wanted is the TLM, and given that, they would happily assimilate with the rest of the church. But trads have actually become even more resistant, more critical and condemning of the Church. They don't want just the TLM - they want to completely reverse everything the Church has done since Vatican II. Like his failed attempt to unite the SSPX with the Church, this must be a great source of sadness to the Pope Emeritus.

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    4. General statements with no proof are meaningless and useless. That's exactly my point. Not knowing personally all trads, your generalisations are meaningless and useless. Exactly.

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    5. There are always exceptions to the rule. I can think of one - note that it is just one - trad blog that does not trash the pope and Vatican II. But this blog links to other blogs that do. I can think of one person I know who attends the TLM who does not agree with the trad positions, and that is my husband. But he would be very offended if you called him a traditionalist.

      I am not speaking as one looking in from the outside. I was very much a part of this movement. I thought as they did. So please don't tell me that I don't know what I am talking about. I know only too well. That is why I have been doing a mea culpa for the last couple of years.

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