Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Saturday, 5 January 2013

It is time to have a televised Mass in Latin

The other day I was engaged in a brief telephone conversation with a good friend. The conversation somehow turned to Mass times. My friend then told me:"I don't go to ..... as they say the Latin Mass". For various reasons it was not the time to question her more deeply about this attitude, but I have been thinking about it over the past few days and think that this attitude is quite - I hope I am wrong - widespread. 

Let us ask ourselves, if the situation was reversed, would not the thoughts of schism and disobedience come to mind? And it would, and rightly so. My point being that a schismatic attitude can come from any perspective. Now, my friend has been to Latin Masses, but she markedly prefers the new Mass. Since she attends the new Mass with a Catholic attitude, I cannot accuse her of ill will or schism (and of course this applies to all Catholics at any rite). I can say that she selected her words ill-advisedly. I can say that this seems to probably reflect the continued social stigmatization of the Extraordinary Form. Some of this, no doubt, is due to "traditional" extremism, which yes, is either schismatic or borders on same. But let us be honest: there is also a continued and virulent "liberal" extremism that despises the Latin liturgy, and would seek to - if not to obliterate it - thrust it into a liturgical ghetto. These "liberals" are no less schismatic; indeed, many are motivated by an heretical definition of the Mass. The  enforcement of the new ordo, the episcopal violence in suppressing the old ordothe confusion in its original definition (and subsequent withdrawal) in the late 1960s, all played a role in giving birth to schismatic integrism.

I also think part of the problem is the semantic use of "extraordinary". I too, have been guilty of its usage; however Usus antiquior, or "older usage" is far more accurate and places the Latin Mass within its correct context: it is a vital, integral part of the liturgical life of the Church - it is the Mass that links the liturgical life of the Roman Church of today to the life of the nascent Roman Church of the Apostles. The new Mass, given that it contains many elements of the usus antiquior does the same, but it is a contrived linkage; formed by liturgists at a set moment in time, and not a gradual organic evolution. 

This brings me to my closing point. The usus antiquior needs to be shown as an integral part of the Church's life in Canada - which it is. It would show a real impetus on the part of the local church to follow the Holy Father's call to accept and integrate the usus antiquior into the mainstream life of the Church. No better way could be demonstrated then a televised Mass. As such, Witness is conducting a poll question. "Would you like to see a televised Mass in the Extraordinary Form (usus antiquior)?"  The poll will close on Candlemas Day, the final day of the Christmas season. 

UPDATE/January 7:  Fr. Z comments on Damian Thompson's (The Daily Telegraph) report that a major English seminary has banned the usus antiquior

12 comments:

Freyr said...

Sorry... I don't attend a Latin mass of any kind and I seldom watch any televised mass. I gave up trekking across town to satisfy my exquisite liturgical tastes years ago. Last time I attended a usus antiquior mass I waited a very long time for the Birchmount bus and thought that doing so in winter would be crazy. Liturgical gourmets of all stripes would do well to remember that the purpose of the Mass is to get you into heaven, not to entertain you, titillate your senses, provide the excitement of a novel experience or the comfort of an old familiar one. No doubt I am going to spend a long time in purgatory locked in a room with an out of tune Salvation Army band...

Barona said...

You were the one who thought it a good idea that the Mass be televised on occasion as the "Daily Mass".

Barona said...

... and you should not have had to wait for the bus, trekked across town etc. The point being the Mass should be available to you without much difficulty. It goes without saying that priests of the Roman rite can celebrate Mass in Latin. if they cannot - then the question arises: what are they/were they studying in seminary?

I would find it odd if a French teacher could not teach French...

Freyr said...

You mean I've contradicted myself? I do that about three times a day...what's your point? Actually I have no objection to a televised Latin mass... but I do think they ought to throw in the occasional Syrian-Antiochene liturgy as well.

Barona said...

I, like you am not interested in liturgical gourmets. I am interested in following the teachings of the Holy Father with regards to the public prayer of the Church. Any prayer can be turned into a fetish. The problem is the person, not the prayer. Most recite the Rosary, not pray it.... should it be suppressed? No, it should be taught...



The dichotomy between the two latin rite expressions exists partly due to the abuse the Novus ordo suffers at the hands of priests; as well as the post-conciliar changes.

Barona said...

Is this live!?

Jeanne Holler said...

Yes that would be great to have televised Latin Mass !

Freyr said...

Regarding the ban on the EF in an English seminary...
Bishops do not like to lose priests which makes this even more peculiar. They obviously do not regard Catholics who are devoted to the EF as part of their flock. I remember many years ago there was a fascination with the Byzantine Rite on the part of some seminarians. One even went so far as requesting faculties when he was ordained and had friends in the Ukrainian Eparchy who would have cooperated. He was denied on the grounds that he was ordained for the Latin Rite and should concentrate his efforts there. The young priest was on shaky canonical ground but you see the point. Not wanting to provide training in the EF means those bishops see it as competition and not as a proper part of their flock. This is an episcopal NIMBY syndrome at work.

Julian Barkin said...

Alright then, fair is fair gentlemen of the Witness Blog. A repost for everyone with a vulagrity-less example, and a more poignant statement on who would do the televised mass:

I voted yes. My two cents on this issue:

$0.01 - While it might be more liturgically/spiritually appropriate to use usus antiquor, Extraordinary Form (EF) is the term I use on my blog, mainly as the Holy Father uses it as such, and it's more well known and recognizable. It is, say for example, like iodized table salt. You use salt, and you but it at the grocery store as "salt". Its composition is sodium with iodine. If someone placed a label on the box and called it "sodium with iodine" most people wouldn't recognize it (or forgot their basic high school chemistry) and wouldn't know what it is, regardless of it being the same thing with the same composition they've been using on their french fries. So basically, I use the label that is most recognizable to the general public, that the Holy Father uses, as most people wouldn't recognize the title usus antiquor.

$0.02 - As for a televised, major mass, I cannot forsee this happening in the Archdiocese of Toronto, unless at the IMPERATIVE request of Cardinal Collins. A secular network might do this, but would only show snipits on a news bulletin for reporting, and not a whole televized mass in our politically correct times. While there is a Catholic television network in Ontario (and Canada) doing this, such an event does not seem to fit in the overall mandate and goals of the network, as demonstrated in prior critical editorials here on WITNESS.

I feel the only way a televised major Mass, in full, would occur, would have to be at the direction of the Holy Father himself. And even then it might not be shared by all television networks worldwide and might have to be seen on more conservative networks/societies or the Vatican's YouTube channel. I have seen rumours here on the blogosphere that perhaps, a major encyclical on Faith (to round out Hope and Charity) is being penned by the Holy Father in this Year of Faith, and that to top it off, maybe a Latin Mass would accompany it (though it is more a pipe dream than a reality). The encyclical is more likely over the Latin Mass.

Barona said...

EWTN has broadcast a few Latin Masses... let us hope and pray for more.

Given that the Latin Mass is an integral part of the life of the Church, its being televised should be considered normal.

Cardinal Ratzinger wrote of those who shy away from the Mass as if it is "something indecent". Precisely. This is, sadly the attitude of many. It may well be that some traditionalists have behaved "indecently" and via eccentricities caused priests to shy away from the Mass... but if there is a problem with people (and being broken sinners all, there always will be) there is no problem with the liturgy. The point being that the Latin Mass is for all Catholics. It is not a show, theatre, nostalgia - it is a living expression of the Church's public prayer. Catholics have a right to this Mass. Catholics should then strive to live this Mass. Any Mass - irrespective of rite.

Freyr said...

You guys realize that the only ones who can obtain the full measure of grace from a televised mass are those who are incapable of attending in person through no fault of their own. Their participation is one of desire. I will still have to trek on down to my local parish and greet the same old faces as last week.

Freyr said...

Here's a really wild idea... what if people who normally would never have to meet face to face suddenly had to attend the same mass every week? What if they met each other on the church steps? What if we are not really islands unto ourselves and had to cope with the regular interaction of having to see people at mass each week? Do you suppose the real problem with the Catholic Church is that there is more than me in it?