Saturday, August 14, 2010

Are We Trads Remiss?

Catholic Culture’s Jeff Mirus, whom I do respect, argues in defense of the Novus Ordo:

[…] it is absolutely critical to note that the mind of the Church or even of the Pope himself cannot be determined by looking at the writings of a future pope before he became pope. A cardinal’s election as pope does not in any way validate his earlier remarks, none of which were protected in the least by the grace of his later office. To assert that the mind of the Church is known from the work of Joseph Ratzinger in, say, 1990, is no wiser than saying it can be known by his common theological opponent, Walter Kasper.

What’s the point in all this, Dr. Mirus? That the Novus Ordo is valid, that it occupies equal ground with the Mass of Pius V, what?

The Holy Father is a “Traditionalist” only in appearances. Those “appearances” are manifest mainly in his support for the Mass of All Ages. Not many people reckon the Novus Ordo to be invalid, but many of us do see it as lacking certain critical things, particularly an emphasis on the Sacrifice Itself. In the Novus Ordo, the propitiatory nature of the Sacrifice has been replaced by the “paschal mystery” and has become a mere re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper.

Refute that, Dr. Mirus.

He writes:

My advice to those who seriously dislike the Novus Ordo is this: Admit your personal preference for the Extraordinary Form if you like; true Catholics should not criticize you for it, even if they prefer the Ordinary Form. Combat abuses of the Novus Ordo where you can; the Church will thank you for that. But do not denigrate the rite itself, as if it is something unworthy or profane, and never imply that the billion Catholics who use and have come to love it are somehow inferior in their Faith.

“Do not denigrate the rite itself”? The rite itself is hollow, sir, and the Church (definition, please) will not likely “thank” us for expressing shock at liturgical abuses; they never have. We get the same response when we express our longing for the Traditional Mass: bugger off. More gentle replies include the admonition to “let it go.”

Do you consider abuses of what the Holy Father refers to as the Ordinary Form of Mass and expressed desires for the Traditional Mass to be somehow equally repugnant?

That bit about the “billion Catholics who use and have come to love it are somehow inferior in their Faith” is interesting. Can you name a time prior to the 1960s when there was an actual movement among Catholics to legalize abortion or permit homosexual marriage? Are our beliefs represented today in Congress the way they were five and more decades ago?

A persuasive argument can (and has been, by many people) be mounted that the Novus Ordo has in fact produced people “inferior in their Faith,” Dr. Mirus.  The entire Liturgy has been watered down to an extent that it would not be offensive to Protestants, and as a “career Catholic” you know this.

If it must be spelled out for you, start here; it should be sufficiently “mainstream”:


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