Wednesday, April 4, 2007

More Latin Mass news, from an unlikely source...

CNS is reporting on how there are people in Rome who appreciate the PreV2 Rite, even in the shadow of the Vatican...

Traditionalists find reverence, calm at pre-Vatican II Mass in Rome

This is just a fantastically well done article. I can't imagine it being more positive, teaching, and respectful.

But the question that comes to mind for me is... Why? Why this article, and why now? Well, I suppose my mind gets overly analytical, but, as in most things, particuarly important things, the Why's are important. The why's often tell you more about the background of a statement of any kind (or an article, or a press release), and more about the intent of the statement, than the statement itself.

So, why this article? Well, first consider the nature of the source (the USCCB via the CNS), and the audience of that source (mainstream, Post V2 background, generally liberal). These are probably people who know nothing about the coming Motu Proprio, and probably very little about the recent Apostolic Exhortation. I know from my experience, if it were not for me being "tuned in" on the internet, my only knowledge of the latter would be one brief article in my Dioscean newspaper, giving little detail (assuming I even looked at that paper, and didn't just trash it whan it came out of the mailbox) or a few blurbs in the mainstream media about married priests and remarried Catholics and communion. And I would have no knowledge at all of the former.

So, we have the vast majority of American Catholics humming along in their Novus Ordo world completely oblivious to the history of the Mass, or of the struggle that has been going on all these years. At best, all they know is that "the mass used to be in Latin, and the Priest had his back to the people" - if that! Now they are about to be confronted with something completely different and alien to their paradigm. That is going to be a shock, a BIG shock to many.

And that, I think, is the why behind this article. A gentle, but clear introduction to the masses that A) there IS another Mass out there B) Here is how it differs (generally): and C) It is a beautiful thing that is enjoyed by many because of those differences. The article also does a wonderful job of taking a POSITIVE (!) view of those who prefer the Old Rite. This would help calm some who may have the vague feeling that such people are some sort of lunatic fringe.

So, after years of trying relentlessly to convince the masses that Church history started with Vatican II, they are faced with having to explain otherwise, and make it look like something that is not to be feared, but appreciated. This article does that and more. And that is the other why behind it. The Bishops are going to have a bit of explaining to do, they know it, and I think that this is a first step in that process. And a good one, as well.

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