Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Dangerous Superficiality of Traditionalism


The above picture is one that is sure to warm the heart of every good Catholic traditionalist. Here is a priest celebrating the Mass ad orientem. This is the way Mass should be celebrated. This is the true Catholic tradition. In fact, Father John Zuhlsdorf recently wrote a post in which he said that this was the only way to achieve a true renewal in the Church [HERE]:
We need to rethink versus populum celebration of Holy Mass and adopt instead ad orientem worship. Joseph Ratzinger got it right in his The Spirit of the Liturgy. I’ll take Benedict XVI’s vision every day and as many times as it takes on Sunday.

As Klaus Gamber stated, and Ratzinger repeated, the shift from ad orientem worship to versus populum was the single most damaging change made in the name of the Second Vatican Council. Together with that came the jettisoning of Our Lord from sanctuaries, the de facto abolition of Latin along with worthy sacred music, irreverence due to Communion in the hand and the downplaying of kneeling and genuflection, etc. etc. etc.
The following pictures of the same Mass from above illustrate the beauty and sacredness which Father Z is promoting:

As Father Z wrote in another recent post:
As I have written a thousand times, unless there is a renewal of our sacred liturgical worship of God, no other initiative of “New Evangelization” will succeed.  It all comes back to worship.  That’s the activity, according to the virtue of Religion, that coordinates the hierarchy of our relationships with persons (Divine, angelic, human) and our loves (making sure that GOD has the throne of our hearts and minds).  If our relationship with God isn’t squared away, and that must include liturgical worship, everything else will be on shaky ground.  How can we who accept the claim that the Eucharist (the Sacrament and Its celebration) are the “source and summit” of our Catholic lives think that we can undertake something as sweeping as a New Evangelization apart from a renewal of Holy Mass, the Divine Office solemnly celebrated, and all our other rites?  And yet when we hear our leaders, our shepherds, go on and on and on about this or that project or initiative, how often do they connect it – heck, even mention – the centrality and urgency of sacred liturgical worship of God?
Of course, when Father Z and other traditionalists talk about "renewal" of the Mass, they mean a return to the Traditional Latin Mass. They want to see more - if not all - Masses celebrated as pictured above. Father Z and all of his traditionalist followers believe that the TLM is the salvation of the Church and the world. That is actually Father Z's motto: "Save the Liturgy. Save the World." Look at the reverence and sacredness. These people are serious about worship.

An article recently written for Crisis Magazine by a fellow Brooklynite explains very clearly the reasons for the traditionalists' belief that the Extraordinary Form of the Mass is essential for the salvation of the world.  The article is entitled, "What the Traditional Mass Means to Me." [HERE]  It is written by James Kalb. I know Mr. Kalb. We attended the same Mass at the one and only TLM here in Brooklyn.

Mr. Kalb is a convert from the Episcopalian Church. As stated by Mr. Kalb, he believes that the TLM is the true representation of Catholicism:
I came to the Church through the Traditional Latin Mass.
I would have converted anyway. It was becoming more and more obvious that the Church was where I belonged, and it seemed pointlessly obstinate and even artificial to remain apart from her. But the Traditional Mass made the situation clearer, because it made it more obvious what the Church is.
Mr. Kalb writes further:
The Traditional Mass made it clear that the Mass is something different from all that. The formality, the silences, the use of an ancient language, the orientation and gestures of the priest, the indifference to popularity—all those things meant the Mass wasn’t anything like an ordinary meeting. It wasn’t about the people present, and at bottom it wasn’t even their doing. To the contrary, those present evidently understood what was going on as awe-inspiring, mostly invisible, and dependent on someone other than themselves. There was no other way to make sense of how they were acting.
So the Traditional Mass made it clear that there’s a basic dimension in Catholic Christianity, the reliable concrete presence of God, that I couldn’t find anywhere else. That realization clarified what the Church is—she is the way God maintains a visible presence in the world—and the necessity of becoming part of her for those who want to live a complete life.
Notice all of the things which Mr. Kalb points to as setting the Traditional Mass apart: "formality, silences, use of ancient language, orientation, gestures of the priest."  Mr. Kalb feels it is these outward gestures and rubrics which make the Mass Catholic.  As Mr. Kalb writes, the "New Mass" is basically Protestant:
This discussion started as a conversion story, and every conversion has its more personal aspects, so I should also mention benefits the Traditional Mass had for me in particular. The New Mass, especially the earlier translation, was very close to the Episcopalian eucharistic service I was used to before becoming Catholic. The two had evidently been designed to be as similar as possible. That was a problem for me.
What the intentional similarity suggested to me was that the New Mass didn’t give nearly so distinctively Catholic a view of things. I won’t claim that view was fair or that I knew more about the needs of the Church than Bl. Paul VI did, but that was what I saw. The New Mass looked to me like it had been produced less by saints and the sensus fidei fidelium than by an interdenominational committee of credentialed experts and then modified in accordance with the demands of particular communions. For that reason I found it hard to trust unreservedly. It seemed to have been produced in cooperation with people I had good reason not to trust and wanted very much to escape from.
Mr. Kalb feels that the "Novus Ordo" Mass and the Episcopalian service he attended were intentionally made similar, and therefore he has a deep distrust of the "Novus Ordo" Mass.  That is a common criticism of traditionalists against the Ordinary Form of the Mass:  it is too "Protestant".  It just does not have a Catholic feel to it.

Traditionalists would tell you that the Mass pictured above is a true Catholic Mass. As Mr. Kalb writes, this Mass shows the real presence of God. However, there is a problem. The Mass pictured above is a high Anglican Mass celebrated at Holy Rosary Church, Portland, Oregon. You can watch the video HERE. Except for the use of Latin, all of the elements of the TLM which Mr. Kalb and other traditionalists feel are so important are found in the Anglican High Mass. People even kneel at the communion rail and receive on the tongue with the use of a paten. If you watch the video, you will hear beautiful Gregorian chant. The Mass is celebrated ad orientem, which Father Z says is so essential. It is very difficult to tell this Mass apart from a TLM.

My point in showing the pictures of the Anglican Mass is to prove that rubrics alone mean nothing. Just because something feels sacred and reverent, that doesn't automatically mean it is. The Anglicans in the Mass pictured above did everything exactly right. But they were still doing nothing more than worshiping ordinary bread and wine. Our Lord was not present at this Mass.

Mr. Kalb states that he cannot trust the Novus Ordo Mass because it is too similar to the Episcopalian service. As I have shown, the High Anglican Mass is also very similar to the TLM which he claims to love. That obviously doesn't bother him. Can he explain this?

Mr. Kalb ends his article by writing:
To summarize a somewhat rambling and personal account, it seems to me that the Traditional Latin Mass helps believers and the Church, because it helps believers see what the Mass and Church are all about. It helps people see the Mass as more than an ordinary assembly and the Church as more than a collection of individuals with varying tendencies and idiosyncrasies. So it helps the Church reach people with what she has to offer. It also helps the Church see herself as One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, and so helps focus her on her nature and mission. What could be better, or more Catholic, than all that?
I use to be of the exact same opinion as Mr. Kalb. In fact, he and I once discussed this very subject in which he expressed these same ideas, and we were in total agreement.

So what really sets the Mass apart? What really makes the Catholic Church different? Does the priest have to face ad orientem? Do people have to receive kneeling and on the tongue? Is Gregorian music essential? Does the salvation of the Church and the World depend upon the use of male only altar servers and no women in the sanctuary? Is it using only the organ and no other instruments? Father Z, Mr. Kalb, and most other traditionalists feel that the rubrics of the Mass set it apart from protestant prayer services. If the Mass looks and feels more sacred, then it. Yet I am sure that they would be the first to agree that an Anglican Mass, no matter how much it may resemble the TLM, can never be sacred. Why? For the simple reason that Christ is not present.

It is the presence of Christ that makes something holy. We surely have learned that lesson from this past Christmas season. Christ was born in a lowly manger, surrounded by dirty animals, laid on a bed of probably not very clean straw and wrapped in rags. Yet, this was the holiest place on earth at that time because Our Lord was there.

Our Lord was crucified in a garbage dump among other criminals. The people surrounding Our Lord were jeering loudly and blaspheming. From all outward appearances, Satan had won the day. Yet, this was again the most sacred place on earth because Jesus Christ was there, and He was winning salvation for the whole world.

As I have shown, the one essential element in determining sacredness is the presence of God. The Pharisees in Jesus's time looked very good on the outside. They did everything exactly right. Yet, Our Lord called them "whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean." (Matt. 23:27) One of the primary lessons we should learn as Christians is that we can never judge a book by its cover. We can never trust our physical senses to differentiate between right and wrong. "There is a way that seems right to a man but the ends thereof are the ways of death.  (Prov. 14:12).

In II Samuel 6, we are given the story of King David bringing the Ark of God back to Jerusalem. As the Ark entered Jerusalem, "Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets." (Versus 14-15).

King David dancing before the Ark of the Covenant
Michel, David's wife, watched out of the window. Verse 16 says "when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart."  When she was alone with King David, she sarcastically said, "How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!" (Verse 20)  David replied to her, "It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor."  (Verse 21).

Michel's attitude towards David encapsulates the view of the traditionalists towards those whom they call "Novus Ordo Catholics." They find the Ordinary Form of the Mass to be vulgar and irreverent. They think the OF is destroying the Catholic Church. As James Kalb wrote, he cannot trust the Novus Ordo Mass because it is too similar to the prayer service he had attended as a Protestant. And as Father Z wrote "the shift from ad orientem worship to versus populum was the single most damaging change made in the name of the Second Vatican Council."

To bolster their argument, traditionalists often point to the fact that a massive decline in church attendance started at the time the Novus Ordo Mass was introduced. Those who make this argument seem to live in a bubble. ALL religions in the western world have lost members. Our western culture has become a culture of materialism and hedonism. God is no longer a part of our society. It isn't just the Catholic Church that is suffering. The entire culture has rejected God and, as a result, is dying.

But look towards Africa, South America and Asia. The Church is growing dramatically in these areas. And what is the predominant Mass by far? The vulgar and irreverent Ordinary Form, the "Novus Ordo."

Catholic Mass in Zambia looking like David dancing in front of the Ark
From a USA Today article dated March 12, 2013 [HERE]:
As the number of regular churchgoers drops in Europe and the United States, the number of faithful in Africa has risen dramatically, greater here than anywhere else in 50 years. In Africa, between 1978 and 2007, the number of Catholics grew from 55 million to 146 million, according to the Vatican. A recent study by Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life show the continent's Catholic population at more than 175 million.
"(Previous popes have) seen a church that is incredibly vivacious and lively and exciting which is what I think some popes have certainly lamented about the decline of the church in Europe and the rise of secularism," said Mark Faulkner, a senior teaching fellow at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. "They see the opposite in Africa where they do see a very vibrant Christian community.
This doesn't do much to support Father Z's argument that the "Reform of the Mass" is the key to the new evangelization.

I was once in lockstep with the traditionalist mindset.  I often complained about the OF, saying that it was impossible to pray at this Mass.  Then I decided that it wasn't up to me to decide upon the form of the Mass.  I stopped fighting the Ordinary Form and actually started praying with it.  That has made all the difference.  I find the OF to be just as reverent - and in some ways more reverent - than the TLM ever was.  However, my feelings mean nothing.  The fact is Jesus Christ is present in the OF, and that makes it sacred. That is the only essential factor.  

Herein lies the danger of traditionalism. Traditionalists pride themselves on the fact that they are very learned. Many of them know Latin. They can explain the Mass to you backwards and forwards. They can tell you the meaning of the different postures and gestures of the priest in the Mass. They know their stuff. But the fact remains, they make their judgments based on what they can see, feel, taste, hear and smell.  And their judgments are superficial and small minded.  They are not listening to the judgments of the Mystical Body of Christ. They are Michel calling David vulgar.

Traditionalists say the Church is dying in the West because the Mass was changed. I counter that with the argument that the Church is growing in the "third world" because the Mass was changed. The European influence of the Mass was removed and it was opened up to the rest of the world so that they could worship God in their own way and in their own language. That was the work of the Holy Spirit, and it has resulted in dramatic Church growth.

Christ and His Church are always at least one step ahead of the rest of the world.  The Holy Spirit saw a dying Europe and He directed the Church to other parts of the world who would accept the saving message of the Gospel.  Don't believe those who say the Church is dying.  It isn't the Church that is dying but our western culture.  

And it isn't the "renewal of the Mass" that will fuel the New Evangelization.  It is the renewal of our minds and hearts that will spread the saving Gospel.  It is our submission to and acceptance of the Will of God.

I think the following Youtube video says it all:


A very astute reader, Joshua, noted that the Mass pictured above is actually an Anglican "use" Mass. This is the Mass that Anglicans who have converted to Catholicism may use. The main celebrant is an Anglican priest who has converted to Catholicism. This is how Wikipedia describes the Anglican Use Mass:
The Anglican Use is an authorized liturgical variant of the Roman Rite of the Latin Church. The Latin Church includes among its liturgical rites the widespread Roman Rite, the Ambrosian Rite of Milan, the Mozarabic Rite celebrated in the Cathedral of Toledo, the Braga Rite in some parts of northern Portugal, and specific uses of religious orders. The Catholic Church also includes several Eastern Catholic Churches, which are alongside the Latin Church but not within it.
The Anglican Use liturgy reflects many influences, including the Sarum Use, the English Missal, and the 1928 and 1979 versions of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer, as well as the Roman Missal. Anglican Use liturgy and the 1962 Tridentine Latin Mass have very similar structures. Distinctive features of such Masses include 16th-century English (e.g., "thee" and "thou"), greater use of incense and bell-ringing, and English chants and hymns.
The Congregation for Divine Worship gave provisional approval for the Anglican Use liturgy, the Book of Divine Worship, in 1984, an approval rendered definitive in 1987. This book incorporates elements of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, but the Eucharistic liturgy is from the 1979 Book, with the Eucharistic Prayers taken from the Roman Missal and the ancient Sarum Rite (with the modern English Words of Institution inserted in the latter). New texts were promulgated by the congregation on 22 June 2012, namely the Order for Funerals and the Order for the Celebration of Holy Matrimony.
As you can see from this description, the Anglican Use Mass is actually a hybrid of different rites. The bottom line, though, is that it is a valid Mass and contrary to my statements, Jesus Christ was most definitely present under the appearance of bread and wine in this Mass.

However, this does not change my post in any other way.  Below are pictures from a true Anglican Easter Sunday High Mass.  This is from St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Hollywood, California.  HERE is the link to the Youtube video, and HERE is link to the Church's website.  As you can see from their website, it is a beautiful church which any traditionalist would be proud to attend.

As you can also see from the pictures from the video, this mass is celebrated ad orientum and looks very similiar to the TLM:

"Consecration" of the bread (which stayed bread)

The Church furnishings

Receiving at the communion rail, kneeling

Incensing the altar

Kneeling in front of altar before final procession

Prayers before "consecration"

Final procession

"Consecration" of the wine (which stayed wine)


  1. Excellent - very well done.

  2. Absolutely love the video! So very true and accurate!

    1. I am surprised and delighted that you liked the video. But what about the rest of the post?

  3. The video is a riot.

    I'm still trying to figure out how St. John could lean his head against Christ's chest when Jesus was facing the wall when he instituted the Eucharist. (The Holy Spirit is going to have to help here.)

  4. Hello, as someone from Venezuela (one of your third world countries) who came back to the church because of the TLM (thanks to all the liturgical abuses in my home country and its legacy), I want to know why specifically you became disenfranchised with it. Even preferring the OF as superior.... I am genuinely curious because what you have presented here is often addressed on various posts by Fr Z, fisheaters, rorate caeli etc.... So to someone who is familiar with those resources, this post ends up looking like a bad argument. So what really made you change your mind?

    1. I think you have misread my posts, or I have not made myself clear, for which I apologize.

      I do not consider either the EF or OF to be superior or inferior to each other. I still love the EF as much as I ever did. I love the prayers, the fact that Latin is still used, the silence - all of the things that Mr. Kalb described. Gregorian chant is magnificent. But this is akin to saying I prefer classical music to jazz.

      Pope Benedict XVI made it very clear in the SP that both forms are equal. However, that is not what traditionalists believe. I know because I was a traditionalist and I believed that the EF was infinitely superior to the OF, as did all of my traditionalist friends. This is what Fr Z, fisheaters, rorate caeli, etc. all believe. When traditionalists talk about the Mass, they mean only one thing - the TLM. As far as they are concerned, the OF is not worthy of their notice.

      I was away from the Church for 38 years. I was drawn back to the Church because I saw that it was true. However, when I returned, the Church of 2007 seemed barely recognizable as the same church I left in 1969. I was drawn to the TLM and the traditionalist movement because it reminded me of the Church of my youth.

      What I didn't realize is that although I was now identifying as a Catholic and fully accepted all of the basic Catholic beliefs, I was still making my own decisions about what I would and would not believe and practice. I, like my traditionalist friends, rejected Vatican II and most of what came from it, including and most especially the "Novus Ordo" Mass. I was, to put it succinctly, still my own magesterium.

      Over the years, I found myself become increasingly uncomfortable with the traditionalists' constant criticism of the contemporary Catholic Church and of the magesterium. I then started to attend Mass at a "Novus Ordo" church only a block from where I worked. At first it was torture for me. I was fighting it every step of the way. Then I decided to stop fighting it and actually start praying with the Mass.

      That made all the difference. Circumstances then led me to regularly attending the church in the neighborhood where I live instead of traveling several miles every Sunday by subway so that I could go to the TLM. I have truly come to love my neighborhood church and realize this is exactly where I belong. No, not everything is perfect. I see a lot of what you would call "abuses'. But I also realize that my part is to be as prayerful as I can be and try to be an example to others. What good am I if all I can do is look down my nose at "Novus Ordo" Catholics, like Michel did with David? Do I think that our Lord will see that as loving my brother? I don't think so.

      The Ordinary Form of the Mass was given to us by the Church. This Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, headed by the successor to St. Peter, to whom the keys to the Kingdom were given. It doesn't matter what I think, what I like and don't like. It is not up to me to lead the church. It is up to me to be faithful and trusting. And that is what I am doing.

  5. " The Anglicans in the Mass pictured above did everything exactly right. But they were still doing nothing more than worshiping ordinary bread and wine. Our Lord was not present at this Mass."

    Ummm...He most certainly was. That was a Catholic mass. It was Anglican Use, not Anglican. Catholic churches thankfully aren't in the habit of allowing non-Catholic masses.

    Here's a better example to make your argument from:

    1. You are absolutely right. I didn't realize that "Anglican use" is for those Anglicans who have converted to Catholicism. I will definitely own up to my mistake, and apologize for the example I used. However, I still stand by the theme of this post. I will show a true Anglican High Mass and how similar is to the the Catholic Mass.

      Thank you for pointing out my mistake. Sure does keep me humble, which I can always use.

  6. I'm no expert on liturgy, but for the sake of conversation, let's assume an Anglican High Mass is exactly the same as the TLM. It seems for that to be a relevant fact in your critique of TLM proponents, you'd have to assume TLM proponents only care about form to the neglect of things like valid orders, apostolic succession, full communion with Rome, etc., and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find such a person not affiliated with SSPX or some other "Catholic" equivalent of the Peoples Front of Judea.

    FWIW, I've only been to one TLM in 11 years of being Catholic and I feel the Church should have switched to the vernacular at the Reformation and a lot of trouble may have been avoided.

    1. My point in showing the similarities between the TLM and the Anglican mass is to prove that just because something looks reverent, that doesn't mean it automatically is. TheTLM looks very beautiful and very reverent, but so does a high Anglican mass. What is the difference? The presence of Jesus Christ.

      When Pope Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum, he said the OF and the EF are two equal forms of the same Latin Rite. However, that is not what traditionalists believe. As far as trads are concerned, the EF has it all over the OF because of the rubrics of the Mass. My point is that rubrics alone don't mean anything. The Anglican mass has many of the same rubrics, but that doesn't make it holy.

      I hope that makes sense.

      Thanks again for your correction. And you may be right - if we had gone to the vernacular at the time of the reformation, maybe we wouldn't have the problems we do now.

    2. Thank you Joshua for point out to CatholicInBrooklyn that her recently-discovered repugnance for traditionalism is so strong that she will take anything (pictures, quotes, videos, etc.) in such an impulsive manner and make those things fit her arguments against traditionalism, instead of doing her homework from the very beginning of her posts.

      1) It is untrue and complete detraction (look it up because you may not know what it is in Catholic moral theology!) to say that traditionalists are only into what looks beautiful without looking at the essence of things.

      You would never find a traditionalist (in union with Rome) at an Anglican service. You are more likely to find a new order person going there in order to show his/her "ecumenical" sympathies. More than that, I would certainly expect you (CatholicInBrooklyn) to attend an Anglican service than I would any traditionalist I know in all of NYC.

      2) As Joshua explains clearly and shortly, your argument is extremely flawed. Most traditionalists care about such things as valid orders, valid sacraments, valid succession, etc., which is why we do not really buy the whole ecumenism stuff nor do we attend non-Catholic services.

      The reason why most traditionalists do not prefer to attend the New Order is because people at the New Order behave as if the Mass were not a Mass, or as if the Sacraments were not really Sacraments, etc.

      You may be happy now to have refound in the New Order what you thought was missing from it when you had your traditionalist phase, but that does not automatically mean that every other traditionalist should do the same SIMPLY because you did. It is a very selfish thing to expect others to do and say and behave in the way one does simply because one does so.

      If tomorrow you discover that in order to be a better Christian you should convert to the orthodox faith, will that mean that every other Catholic should do the same? I am sure then your posts would be about the errors of the Catholic Church and how the Orthodox are the real Christians!

      3) Joshua -- The Catholic Church has never really changed her liturgy (in its entirety) based on movements such as the protestant deformation. Had the Church turned to the use of the vernacular then, it would have achieved nothing! Luther wanted more than just the Liturgy in the vernacular. In fact, the Lutheran services now look nothing like that they did when Luther was alive. Luther also got rid of many other teachings that are of Faith and morality because it served the cause of his real intentions (he wanted to get married ... and, of course, he was crazy).

      So, changing the Liturgy to satisfy other religions, groups, or protesters does not do the trick, especially if it is done in a way that does not flow organically from what the Liturgy has always been in the Catholic Church.

      Finally, the traditional Mass is not only about Rubrics or ceremonies. CatholicInBrooklyn, if that is what you thought when you attended it or now that you do not attend it, then you have it all wrong.

      The traditional Mass has a long history of Saints, and ancestors who attended and prayed the Mass that way ... It has centuries-worth traditions and practices that proved to help people in their devotions and in their spirituality.

      The traditional Mass pre-dates the Council of Trent in its form and essence. Most traditionalists want to pray the same way in which Catholics prayed before Vatican II, but also before Trent.

      You have completely missed the point ... and that is why you discovered that you could not attend the traditional Mass anymore. The problem was not with the Mass nor with the people who attend it... the problem was with yourself and the lack of understanding of the Mass.

    3. Eddie, you are the one who has completely missed my point. I love the TLM as much as I ever have. I take nothing away from its reverence and sacredness. I just believe Pope Benedict XVI when he said that both the EF and OF are equal, which most traditionalists do not believe. The EF is certainly valid, but so is the OF, and you are being totally dishonest if you try to deny that most traditionalists have absolutely no use for the OF (yourself included).

      The reason trads do not like the OF is because they don't feel it is sacred. They don't like the fact that the priest faces the people, they don't like the fact that many of the prayers were taken out and/or changed. They don't like the fact that there is not silence in the Mass. Theydon't like the music. They don't like the vestments. They don't like altar girls. They don't like women in the sanctuary.

      My point is that while these may be important to certain people, they have nothing to do with whether Jesus Christ is present. It is his presence that makes a Mass sacred and valid, not the rubrics. High Anglican Masses have many of the same rubrics, yet Christ is not present. The OF does not have the rubrics or the "solemnity" that so many trads, including yourself, crave. But yet Christ is present, and according to the teaching of the Church, the OF is just as valid as the EF.

      If you can't understand what I am saying, then it is because you don't want to understand. I have no problems with tradition. I love the great traditions of the Church. I love Gregorian chant. I love the TLM - believe it or not. But it is attitudes like yours -judgmental and condemning - that I cannot tolerate. And except fo r some liberals, who are a minority, I do not find these attitudes in my "Novus Ordo" parish. I just find people who want to worship God to the best of their ability.

      As far as getting inside my mind and judging me, remember what our Lord said about that.

    4. Latinmass1983/Eddie - I did not make any accusations against CiB. I did not disagree with CiB. Instead of lying, deceiving, and pretending you know what everyone else really means, ponder this and the implications it may have for legitimate liturgical diversity:

      1 Cor 9:19-23
      Although I am free in regard to all, I have made myself a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew to win over Jews; to those under the law I became like one under the law—though I myself am not under the law—to win over those under the law. To those outside the law I became like one outside the law—though I am not outside God’s law but within the law of Christ—to win over those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, to win over the weak. I have become all things to all, to save at least some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.

  7. This discussion would particularly benefit from input from those with a background in any of the following disciplines: Sociology; Anthropology; Psychology; Liturgiology; Epistemology. Although I do believe one or other of the commentators do fulfill the criteria.

    1. This is exactly what I was talking about. The Mass is not "Sociology; Anthropology; Psychology; Liturgiology; Epistemolog." The Mass is the bloodless Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. It is not about the outward gestures and symbols as much as it is about our state of mind and state of grace. And that is why the OF is just as valid and sacred as the EF.

    2. But those are exactly the points you raise in your post even though you are unfamiliar with the precise terminology.

    3. You're way above my head, I'm afraid. If you would like to take the time to explain, I would be willing to listen. But you have lost me.

  8. Mary, all the posts you have posted so far express only judgment against traditionalists. Why would you not call judging? You claim to know what is in their heads and minds. You claim to know exactly why they don't like the new order and why they prefer the traditional Mass. Can you read their minds? You quote from a blog or two and then you generalize it to everybody else.

    You cannot condemn others for doing what you do.

    To tell you the truth, I have heard people who have told me (priests included) that the new order is superior to the traditional Mass, that it is more open to everybody and accepting of everything, that people learn more from it than from the Latin Mass, that it takes precedence over the traditional Mass (even though Benedict XVI said that they were of equal rights), etc.

    Many people who know you have said that you are very judgmental and condemning, especially when they do not agree with you. I guess that the new order is not working for you either.

    Joshua, if you read well, I did not say that you accused Mary of anything, did I? But the fact that you pointed out that those pictures were actually of a Catholic Mass, emphasized, not only that Mary was wrong, but that she does not research well whatever she uses on her posts.

    Additionally, I did not pretend to know what you meant. I simply answered to what YOU wrote about the Liturgy (even though you admitted that you are not an "expert"). In which case, you should not claim that if the Church had switched to the vernacular at the time of Luther that things would not have been that bad.

    That is incorrect, and the years following the protestant revolt shows that. In fact, the only thing giving into Protestantism brought out was further separation, division, and schisms.

    The Church always allowed liturgical diversity (there have always been over 20 different rites in the Church), and the reason for what was not the quote you posted.

    It is actually a disservice to use "charity" as an excuse to allow people to do whatever they want, especially in church, and to claim that accepting anything and everything is what charity means.

    Joshua, you should not quote St. Paul and try to tell people that they should learn from him when you yourself have not.

    Still, you did well in letting people know that the original pictures were not from an Anglican Mass.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Buddy, you're a liar and a distorter. I'd watch your back--sooner or latter God'll cut you down.

    3. Eddie - it is quite apparent that you have no idea what I am trying to say nor do you wish to understand. I have tried to explain it to you, but apparently it isn't going to do any good.

      Did you at least enjoy the video I posted?

  9. Mary,

    Let me put it this way:

    It is illogical do write all the things that you write about/against traditionalists/traditionalism and expect that it not be taken as judgmental and offensive ... as if you have a personal vendetta against traditionalists/traditionalism.

    Have you ever written about the dangers that could be found in the New Order? Of all the things that go on at the New Order and the dangers of not caring for the Liturgy in such a context? I would say that I have not found one post about that on this blog yet.

    I understand that not all parishes have really crazy celebrations, but you should understand that not ALL traditional Liturgies are preferred simply because "they look good."

    Is the Anglican Use considered part of the traditional movement in your view? Since you used their pictures originally, did you imply that they too fall under the umbrella of superficial traditionalism (now that you know that they are Catholic and not Anglican), even though, as an entity in the Church, they are quite new?

    That mindset is a simplification of what the traditional Liturgy really is and WAS for centuries and centuries.

    Would it have been possible for you to have written such a post as this one when the only Mass in the Roman Rite WAS the traditional Mass? Would you have been able to complain about the "dangers of traditionalism" then? About the obsession with rubrics and beautiful music and vestments? That people only went to it because of the external value?

    So, the reason I do not accept the reasons/explanations that you have tried to give as to why you write these posts is that they do not make sense (and focus only on one possible aspect of problems that could occur in the context of the Liturgy in the entire Universal Church.

    Unless you write articles about the dangers those who attend the New Order (new ordism?) and the Eastern Liturgies (orientalism?) face, then your one-sided posts against traditionalism will not be considered fair, accurate, and just. It cannot be taken seriously.

    Your arguments would fail and do fail when you think that the traditional Liturgy is not something new and unique to the post-Summorum Pontificum world. People preferred the Latin Mass before (as it was the only thing available for most Roman Catholics). Were those people also guilty of the problems you see in traditionalism now?

    You will have a very hard time defending that! Or will you argue that then there was no danger in traditionalism (beautiful music and Liturgy, rubrics, vestments, rules, etc.) simply because there was no New Order?

    Since you did not come up with the video (you only found it), I find it unnecessary when evaluating your writing/post/arguments. So, I did not see it and, therefore, I cannot say whether I would enjoy It or not.

    @Joshua -- You should watch your back as well. God will cut us all down sooner or later, and you are not excluded!

    1. No one is threatening anyone on my blog. Do that one more time - anyone - and you will not be allowed back.

      Eddy - as I said, you are completely missing my point because you see this merely as a personal attack. And I have to say, I have a hard time believing much of what you write. You said on my blog last summer that you rarely look at the news or other blogs, and yet you constantly post news and blogs to your Facebook page. You told me that anyone is allowed into the loft at HI, and yet an official document from HI that came out shortly afterwards said that the general public is not allowed into the loft.

      And you really expect me to believe that there are traditionalists who think that the OF is superior? First of all, that is as wrong as believing that the EF is superior. And secondly - get real!!!

      And you didn't watch the video? Or are you just afraid to say you didn't like it?

      Sorry Eddy - you don't have much credibility here.

  10. Well, you did not answer any of the questions I posted. So, that probably means that you would have *not* been able to write such a post if the New Order did not exist. That, in itself, makes your entire argument null. It would also imply that you do not think that you could write about the Eastern Liturgies in the same way you write about traditionalism, even though they tend to be more fanatic and defensive about their Liturgies (and nationalities in connection with their Liturgies)!

    I did not lie. Prior to May or June of 2014 I did not watch much news or read many blogs. In fact, there are very few blogs (like you) that I read. And I rarely read your blog at that, except when some people forward me the new posts against traditionalism that you come up about every other week.

    My facebook page: I am glad to hear that you pay attention to everything I share on facebook. However, even you could understand that clicking the button "share" is not the same as reading the articles. Sometimes, it is enough to read the title to know whether other people would be interested in reading the articles themselves.

    I DID NOT say that traditionalists think the New Order is superior. I said that some priests (diocesan) have told me that the New Order is superior and takes precedence over the traditional Mass. Where did you see that I said that traditionalists said that? You see things where there is nothing to see!

    I had not watched the video. But since you insisted, I took a quick look at it and read several of the subtitles. Funny (silly) video.

    It reminds me more of the reaction to Summorum Pontificum than reactions to the election of His Holiness Pope Francis. In fact, several Cardinals flew to Rome (one of them was nearly dying!) in order to stop Pope Benedict from releasing the Motu Proprio as it was released -- they wanted more restrictions to the traditional Mass. Some of these Cardinals were German and some were French! You should write a post on their actions one day and how uncharitable they were in trying to prevent Pope Benedict from doing what the Holy Ghost was guiding him to do! = clarifying that the traditional Mass had never been abrogated, that it was always sacred and still continues to be, etc.

    Having credibility --or not-- on this blog of yours means very little to most people, especially given that the author herself has very little credibility because she keeps changing sides and views by season!

    Were you to be more steady and reflective in your views, you would have more credibility and your posts would be more accurate and acceptable as being logical.

    I can't think of what notice you are talking about the choir loft, but even after that, if you see the choir loft open and you go up, probably no on will stop you from going up (unless they think that you are going to do something bad).

    1. Ah, Eddy, You do like to be argumentative, never looking for a meeting of the minds, never really looking for the truth, just looking to prove your own point.

      I will pray for you, and I hope you will pray for me. We all walk in the midst of a spiritual minefield, and it is sometimes difficult to know which voices we should listen to. My suggestion is stay close to the Magesterium, which means the Pope and Bishops, even if you don't agree with everything they say.

  11. Hello!

    Sorry to be a bit late, but I find the post puzzling.

    Good form doesn't guarantee sanctity. Nothing does short of absolute and unconditional love of God. That doesn't mean nothing else helps.

    In my Crisis piece I gave reasons for saying that the TLM is more helpful, at least for me, than the post-60s form. What's the issue?

    You're right that the Faith has spread in Africa since the 60s. Why does that show that radical changes in the Mass were helpful, at least outside missionary territories?

    As to missionary territories, Islam and Pentecostalism have also spread a great deal in Africa. So it seems the people there were ready for something different from what they had. It seems unlikely that Archbishop Lefebvre, who spent 30 years there, thought the newer form would be helpful for giving them that.

    It's hard to resolve such disputes. But does the experience of the Diocese of Campos under Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer suggest that the newer form helps people in third world countries more?


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