Last Sunday, mass was said, to my surprise, by our retired pastor, our regular one being on vacation this week. Now allow me to say that I absolutely love this man. He is the one who brought me back into the faith, and his homiletics and loving, caring, strong pastoral care are almost beyond belief. To borrow a line from a Dan Fogelberg song - "a thundering velvet hand" - is the best way to describe him. When he hobbled down the aisle, tears came to my eyes.
THEN..... The Homily.... First, he reflected on the readings, telling how the Mass doesn't belong to the people, but to the Church, and it must be respected as such. Then, after a pause, he stated how there are "some young priests" in the diocese who want to bring back the Latin Mass. And added that you don't see any of us "old timers" wanting to go back to that!! This is all young people! (emphasis mine) This led into a long speech about how much better it was since "Vatican II clearly stated - Mass in the vernacular!!! (emphasis his) Then, after a bit of critique of the old mass, he pointed out, correctly, that a priest - any priest - can say the mass we use today, that is the mass of Paul VI, in Latin, whenever they want to. He even explained that it was in the sacramentary. Gradually, this progressed into a sort of admission that there had been a lot of abuses, "priests doing crazy things", but the solution wasn't Latin.
The whole thing was, while not a surprise, a sort of complete non-sequitur with the rest of his personality and attitude. I find myself amazed at how a priest with that amazing depth of knowledge and reverence could be so absolutely foursquare against both Latin and the old mass.
And I wonder...
Is he just that totally sold on the infallibility of the reforms he lived through and implemented?
Or is he right?