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The Pope’s ambition, a powerful blend of the Novus Ordo and the Old Rite, could sweep the Church

There are too many difficulties attending both the Novus Ordo and the Old Rite

By on Friday, 20 May 2011

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller celebrated the Extraordinary Form Mass at St Peter's Basilica on Sunday (CNS photo)

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller celebrated the Extraordinary Form Mass at St Peter's Basilica on Sunday (CNS photo)

An extremely interesting story by John Thavis – which appears currently on the Herald’s homepage under the headline “Pope’s ‘reform of the reform’ in liturgy to continue” – reports what seems to me a potentially wondrous proposed advance. But will it happen? There is a danger that what amounts to an entirely new proposal of a fresh liturgical development, going beyond both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary forms of the Mass to something possibly better than either, will sink without trace: so here’s my two penn’orth towards getting it noticed and talked about, and I hope acted on. Here’s what Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (of all things) said on Sunday:

“The Pope’s long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to co-exist, but to move toward a ‘common rite’ that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms.”

The fact is that both existing forms, as at present celebrated, lack something. Much has been alleged and lengthily spelled out about the defects of the Novus Ordo, so I say nothing about them here. But the Old Rite (I intend to call it that in future: “Extraordinary Form” sounds like a physical defect of some sort) also presents its difficulties, if for no other reason than that it has become so unfamiliar to many if not most people. I have always thought it nonsensical and wrong that the Old Rite should be banned in the aftermath of Vatican II; the liberalisation of its use following Summorum Pontificum was long overdue. But the great and undoubted riches of the Old Rite, it has seemed to me since I recently began to attend it on Sundays, are impeded from re-entering the mainstream of the Church’s liturgical life by an almost insuperable barrier. It’s very difficult indeed for anyone not actually brought up with it (and that’s a large and growing proportion of congregations these days) to find out what is actually going on, except at certain key points when bells, the elevations and so on, indicate it unmistakeably.

Though I have been moved by the powerful atmosphere of devotion surrounding the celebrations of the 1962 Mass I have attended, especially during the silent prayer of consecration itself, I have struggled during most of the celebration to pinpoint what point in the Mass we have actually reached: just where I am and what is happening. I have the text there in front of me, in both English and Latin: but when the Mass is being “said”, either virtually inaudibly or in total silence, it’s easy to get lost. Look, this isn’t in any way a negative reaction. But it is a difficulty. I will just have to persevere. But it’s discouraging. I had already studied (and been greatly moved by the beauty of) the text. There were some landmarks in it I was watching out for, for instance that wonderful opening declaration “Introibo ad altare Dei”: but I never even heard it the first time, and still haven’t. We were miles past it when I caught up. Now, as I say, I will need to persevere: but most people who don’t have a long acquaintanceship with the old Mass and how to attend it will be put off. And that is a very great pity.

So the idea of a “common rite” that is “shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass forms” is very attractive to me. The Novus Ordo, celebrated in Latin as a High Mass (as it is in what I am fortunate to be able to say is the church I attend on Sundays, the Oxford Oratory), is very moving as it is. To add, for instance, the whole introductory rite of the old Mass, asperges and all, would immensely enrich it even further. In a new translation (which would have to be done to the same standard as that of the awaited translation of the Novus Ordo) it would help at churches which are, at the moment, liturgically struggling to get to the point of devotional take-off (I’m assuming, of course that there’ll be no guitars around by then: if there are, better for them to stick to the Novus Ordo we have rather than compromise the “enriched” form I look forward to having).

Meanwhile, the struggle to establish, often against the obstruction of local bishops, the absolute right of those who wish for it to have the old Mass, continues. As a story on this home page reports:

A new Vatican instruction calls on local bishops and pastors to respond generously to Catholics who seek celebration of the Mass according to the 1962 Roman Missal. The instruction, issued today, said pastors should approve such Masses for groups of faithful, even when such groups are small or are formed of people from different parishes or dioceses.

But the CDF statement does more than just call on bishops to “respond generously”, as though they had any business whatever doing anything else. It tells, them, in terms, that the people have an absolute right to the old Mass if they want it, and that they are not to get in the way:

The Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum constitutes an important expression of the Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff and of his munus of regulating and ordering the Church’s Sacred Liturgy. The Motu Proprio manifests his solicitude as Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pastor of the Universal Church, and has the aim of:

a) offering to all [my italics] the faithful the Roman Liturgy in the Usus Antiquior, considered as a precious treasure to be preserved;

b) effectively guaranteeing and ensuring the use of the forma extraordinaria for all who ask for it, given that the use of the 1962 Roman Liturgy is a faculty generously granted for the good of the faithful and therefore is to be interpreted in a sense favourable to the faithful who are its principal addressees

Bishops are also instructed “to offer their clergy the possibility of acquiring adequate preparation for celebrations in the forma extraordinaria. This applies also to seminaries, where future priests should be given proper formation, including study of Latin and, where pastoral needs suggest it, the opportunity to learn the forma extraordinaria of the Roman Rite”.

So the people have a right to the old Mass: and the clergy should be trained in its use: that is the Pope’s wish. In the light of all that enthusiastic stuff about a “Benedict bounce” that we heard from the bishops after the Pope’s visit, can we expect them now to respect his wishes?

I have two motives in harrying the bishops in this matter: first, it’s a matter of justice: those who want the old Mass now have an actual right to it, and it’s the bishops’ pastoral duty actually to facilitate the implementation of that right. Second, the more the Old Rite is celebrated, the more likely, perhaps, will become what I would really like to see: a new rite, in which the best of the Novus Ordo (including two of the three new Canons) would be retained, with the whole liturgy enhanced by the riches of the Old Rite, now clearly and audibly celebrated for the first time: that could be a liturgical wonder which would sweep the Church.

I prattle, of course. There are too many enemies of any real “reform of the reform”, and they are too powerful, for any such thing to get off the ground anytime soon. Aren’t there? All the same, according to the Herald, Cardinal Koch says that this and nothing less is “the Pope’s long-term aim”. But how long is “long-term”? There’s the question. Ah, well.

  • Charles Martel

     Well said. As far as I can see, the medieval chasuble had retained the ancient form in its essentials. The gradual cutting away of that full vestment ended up in the rather silly ‘fiddleback’ sandwich board. I simply cannot get why so many ‘traditionalists’ are so attached to the fiddleback. Having said that, I am an ecumenical traditionalist, and will not persecute the fiddlebackists if ever I am elected Hadrian VII.

  • Charles Martel

    No intelligent Catholic could deny the validity of the NO per se, and I don’t think that’s what was being said. However, we have every right (along with our Holy Father)  to lament the introduction of such a banal and fabricated rite, not to mention the fact that it was conceived in a false spirit of ecumenism, with many of the distinctively Catholic elements in the Old Mass notably absent. By all means let’s have an organic development of the liturgy. Let’s leave it to the Holy Ghost. I have no doubt that the NO will fade away without a trace. For goodness’ sake, let’s not have any more boffins cobbling together compromises as political parties do when forming coalitions. No more Bugninis!

  • DBMcGinnity

     A Roman fiddleback chasuble is identical to a the lambskin tabard that Constantine’s Sol Invictus priests used in their Sun Worship ritual. The tabard was used like a butchers apron during the sacfifice of little boys and girls. As history shows, priests have continued with this practice as a recreation. That is why a chasuble is worn at mass, as a symbol of blood and sacrifice. If you check with the link below you can see DAVERN DV250 Tabard is identical in style and purpose to a roman chasuble to be worn by butchers.

  • Charles Martel

    Dear Dr Oddie,
    I, for one, understand what you were saying and I agree that some people have overreacted. On behalf of all traditionalists, I would like to say thank you for a thoughtful article. When I started attending the Old Mass in 1984, I found it confusing too. Within 3 years I was serving Archbishop Lefebvre’s Mass (well, once, anyway). I still can’t say I am absolutely sure of all the movements and where exactly the priest is in the prayers. However, I think you will find that the more you go, you will find that you adjust to a new (or new-found) environment. The whole way of being at Mass is subtly different. I remember a wonderful ex-Anglican traditional priest saying ‘bring your babies, let them cry and don’t feel embarrassed or apologetic about it. I love to hear that during Mass. It wouldn’t bother me if there were dogs or pigs running around either; that was quite common in the Middle Ages. The Mass goes on.’
    That was refreshing to me, after hearing so many priests make sarcastic comments about babies crying and embarrassing mothers in front of everyone. I think if you have ever attended the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, it may be useful to compare. Perhaps in the west we now expect too much to ‘understand’ and to be in control. Just as with ‘Fides quaerens intellectum’, so perhaps should we simply throw ourselves into the Liturgy without worrying too much about how much we can understand. Seeking understanding, of course, is good, but I think traditional liturgies work on many different levels and we shouldn’t expect everyone to ‘feel’ or ‘think’ or even pray the same way. I personally find that quite liberating. It certainly is quite a different mode of worship from the Pauline Mass.
    I hope you carry on and let us know how things develop.

  • Auricularis

    I really cannot see how the old rite can be “enriched” by the Novus Ordo? The latter is clearly a failure, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this talk of “reform of the reform” in the first place. Better to start at what we had and move on from there.

  • Paul

     I thought I’d add my two penn’orth about the use of Latin.  One of the early ecumenical councils of the Church stated quite categorically that the liturgy, i.e. Mass as we know it, should always be celebrated in the vernacular.  That is why Rome changed from Greek to Latin although Latin had been gradually introduced around the 2nd century, with the exception of the Kyrie, which is, of course, Greek.  
    Whilst I always feel a real sense of ‘universality’ when parts of the NO are sung in Latin I would prefer the saying/singing of the Old Rite in English.  Those of us who are old enough to remember may recall how parts of the Old Rite were sung in English post-Vatican II before the NO was promulgated by Pope Paul VI.  Without losing any of its mystery the Mass became much more intelligible to those of us who didn’t understand Latin or learnt it parrot fashion.  The Creed, Angelus, Sanctus, Pater Noster etc were perfectly understood by most of us as we knew the words in English well.

  • Horace Zagreus

    I assure you, Joan, my loathing is entirely reserved for traditionalists who make comments about both Forms of the Mass which are at best specious and at worst downright untrue, not the Mass itself. In any case, my point was: traditional praxis is to say your own prayers and your own devotions while the Mass goes on. It was the liberals in times past who insisted on following what was going on at the altar.

    And loath as I am to say it (and really, it”s not a thought I like much), this does seem to be a new idea: in the East we find a similar practice of saying ones own devotions and prayers while the Liturgy takes place (of course, in the Eastern churches, whether Catholic or Orthodox, this takes place largely hidden behind the ikonostasis).

    I did not say people had no idea what was going on in the Mass in years past; rather my point was that what was going on at the altar was largely irrelevant, since you were meant to be saying your own prayers and devotions rather than trying to follow what went on at the altar. 

    When it comes to the Church being “strong and growing”, this was indeed the case in the 1950s and 1960s, but it was a blip, and a sudden post-war inrush which was bound to dissipate anyway (though whether it would have happened as it did without the Council is of course another debate, and one too long for here). I would point out that other Christian ecclesial communities have in general suffered similar if not worse declines in the same period, with the exception of charismatic and evangelical movements. 

    As for whether the Church has “fallen apart” since the 1970 Missal, this idea skates very close to post hoc ergo propter hoc. The times were changing, and there would have been a colossal fallout on the Church sooner or later; whether or not the Council helped or hindered that is difficult to  say; in many ways it may have stopped a worse result.

    “It’s just like a get-together for a meal with friends. It does lack dignity and all the reverence of the old rite.”
    I’m sorry, but I’ve never been to a Mass in either Form which was like a get-together for a meal with friends. From the tenor of the last part of your post, would you be American? I understand that in the US the situation is severe and sharply divided, but on this side of the pond the Mass in the Ordinary Form tends to be something in the middle: Not all it could be in terms of reverence, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen dancing, balloons or secular songs, either. I would describe it generally as banal rather than irreverent. I have heard of instances of dancing at Mass. I would not be able to substantiate them, however.

    I would say that the Ordo itself is not irreverent or lacking in dignity; however, it is much abused both in its rubrics and the intention behind them. 

    “Do you really think that all the Catholics and saints who went to the old rite, didn’t know what was happening?” 
    I have no idea, but as I said above that was not the point I was making. In any case, I should hardly need to point out that most people (among whom I include myself) are not saints.

    “By the way there is nothing wrong with praying the rosary during Mass.”
    I didn’t say there was, but it isn’t participation and it has little to do with what’s going on at the altar.

    “I read somewhere that Sr Lucia asked Our Lady about this very thing at Fatima and was reassured about it. If dancing and balloons and singing secular songs is OK at the new Mass, I can’t see how praying the rosary at  Mass is wrong.”
    I would say that dancing, balloons and singing secular songs are all wrong at Mass. But saying the rosary – laudable though it is – is not participation in the Mass.

  • Roman Riter

    Surely that would be a cruel imposition on our Eastern brothers who have worshiped side by side with us since the time of Christ and whose customs are recognized as ancient and equal in stature by the Holy See itself? (see Orientalium Dignitas by Pope Leo XIII, also the author of the Prayer to St. Michael and the rest of the Leonine Prayers featured prominently in the Forma Extraordinaria)

  • Roman Riter

    Actually, the chasuble (regardless of Roman fiddleback, Gallican, or Eastern phelonion) has its origins from an outer traveling garment used in the Roman Empire.

    You can read on the evolution of the chasuble from the original conical to the fiddleback from an official Catholic source

  • Anonymouspls

    I would make this suggestion to anyone who has trouble following the Extraordinary Form–or to anyone, really: Forget the book for 3 or 4 Masses… Just contemplate the Mass, by which I mean: watch with active attention and recollection, without using any book at all. You will be surprised first of all at how moving and beautiful the experience is (especially if you have prepared your soul well beforehand and kept silence beforehand), and secondly you will be surprised at how “into the Mass” you feel even though you may not know what is being said and may not say anything at all out loud, and lastly, after a couple of times doing this, you will “get it” and you’ll come to be able to follow the parts of the Mass in a way that you couldn’t before. I think one problem that people have that are new to this Mass is trying too hard to follow along and know what’s going on, and so they’re fooling with the missal the whole time and thinking too hard about what they’re doing and about themselves and are very distracted and self-consciou. You need not have scruples about contemplating the Mass in this way- this can be an experience much more active, though it is an interior action, than either following the missal or being at an Ordinary Form Mass where you are saying a lot… Try it and see and I think you’ll see I’m right!!

  • Skorpion

    Well said, Uhogb.

    I am a member of the Ordinariate and previously an Anglo-Catholic within the Church of England..
    I am greatly disturbed by the lack of reverence evident at many masses and other solemn services.

    This was one of the reasons why I left the Church of England which has descended into an unbearable mix of diversity and all-pervading liberality which, in my opinion, is detrimental to the Faith.
    Please don’t let this happen in the Roman Catholic Church. 

  • Jfrcasimir

    Excellent observation. I love that.

  • Daniel

    “It’s very difficult indeed for anyone not actually brought up with it (and that’s a large and growing proportion of congregations these days) to find out what is actually going on, except at certain key points when bells, the elevations and so on, indicate it unmistakeably.”

    I am 44 years old and was raised with the Pauline Missal [NO] and had, at best, a vague idea of what the Mass was in all the years of assisting at the Novus Ordo.
    About 6 years ago my wife and I started assisting at the Traditional Latin Mass, almost exclusively, and now know what the Mass is!
    We have no problem understanding the TLM and following along with it in our missal or without it.

    For 38 years of going to the Novus Ordo, in the vernacular, I had barely an idea what the Mass was.
    But after 6 years of the TLM, I have an excellent grasp of what it is.
    To follow it is not rocket science.
    After about 5 TLM’s assisted by the Missal, I knew how to follow it easily.

    On the other hand, I have been to several Latin Novus Ordo Mass and have been confused by it.

  • Anonymous

    “a new rite, in which the best of the Novus Ordo (including two of the three new Canons) would be retained, with the whole liturgy enhanced by the riches of the Old Rite, now clearly and audibly celebrated for the first time”

    But surely one of the most spiritually powerful moments of the Old Rite is the silent Canon when everyone is united in silence before the great mystery taking place on the altar. The new rite was greatly impoverished by its abolition and I get the impression from reading the Holy Father’s book ‘The Spirit of the Liturgy’ that he would like to see it re-introduced.

  • Lee

    It is valid in the legal sense and even then, the promulgations wherefrom it comes are still up for debate as to whether they were to be enforced absolutely or not. The grey area around the abysmal NO’s birth is quite perplexing to say the least.

  • Lee

    Exactly that ‘boffins and political scientist/sociologists who think they know better than the likes of St Thomas Aquinas, St Peter Damian and others who have served The Body of Christ so faithfully.

  • Lee

    Latin had been introduced much earlier than that also within the mass fully. Also vernacular all well and good, if it can communicate the sacred truths which are very fragile and have to be communicated in the most sincere and holiest ways with pin point precision. The ‘Roman Rite’ in English would be very nice but unless English is willing to to take in more Latin terms alongside bringing the language back to what it should be ( Thou, Thine, Thy, Ye, Beest and pronomianls ) Then the mass would be corrupted with modern english which is not good at all to the native English who knows their English and its history.

  • Anthony

    For more information on the Ancient rite and the inherent problems with the new see:

  • Parasum

    “This” happened 40 years ago, I’m afraid. I prefer the C of E as it used to be, when the CC was still reasonably sane. These days, people are Christian despite the anti-liturgical ghastlinesses they are subjected to. All the mess is the fault of them up top, in the C of E and in Rome. At least Anglicans can do soething about it…

  • Anonymous

    This is a bigoted piece of nonsense. I flagged it for the moderator because these kinds of anti Catholic falsehoods have no place in comboxes.

  • DB McGinnity

    A bigot is a poorly educated person with tunnel vision, with fixed irrational concepts of singular viewpoint. Such a person does this because they a frightened by the prospect of lateral thinking and reasoning. This person blindly defends his/her point of view with anger and hostility,  but is unable to offer a logical alternative. Therefore as you refute my contribution, I would be more than delighted to know what your considered opinion is on this matter. As always I am prepared to learn from anyone, about anything at anytime. I will always change my point of view in the light of new and compelling evidence, about anything. So, let me hear your considered contribution.It does not help when you resort to using meaningless and facile abusive terminology about me, because it denotes that your education and use of English language is limited. I am still interested to know why you think my contribution is nonsense. If you do not present your contribution, then it is you who will appear foolish. Incidentally, I always give my real name, and I do not issue invective and abuse about anybody whilst hiding behind anonymity.   

  • DB McGinnity

    I have read the new advent account. What they write is anecdotal, skewed by religious zeal and not supported by any other objective evidence. The cloak, cope, or cape was the outer garment not the chasuble that only came into being in the latter days of the Roman Empire. The Chasuble was a ceremonial garment that is consistent with the time of Constantine court and with Constantine’s religious Pagan Sun Worship (Sol Invictus) blood rituals.. However I am not an expert on Roman History or Roman codes of dress, I am prepared to be corrected in the light of new objective information. To the best of my findings I could only discover two Roman garments. The Tunica was a short woollen under garment with short sleeves not dissimilar from the priests surplice, the white tunic worn over a cassock or habit. The main garment was the Toga for which there is no similarity in Christianity. The Chasuble has been the cause of some angry controversy as “Circa dubium de forma paramentorum” points out.

  • Profidebookstore

    I agree that it might be difficult to follow it for a while, but with some reading at home and a planned approach one shouldn’t need more than, say, 10 occasions to master it.

    Have your contribution prepared and made easily accessible; otherwise you will miss most of the Offertory. You simply must not alow yourself to be disturbed by the collection.

    For the beginning, forget about following the priest’s silent prayers in a High Mass: it is difficult to concentrate because of singing; so you better concentrate on singing. In the Low Mass it is necessary to forget about the unchangeable parts – just skip them to start with; or better read them at home. Then, for a year or two, forget about being able to read all that the priest prays : after all, why should you read all of it? Even if you master reading the text fast enough, you will  frequently realize that the mind has gone astray (the striking example of “active” participation in the NO, which is all but active: most of us sleep while mechanically “participate” in “responses”, but there is no way of experiencing that the mind had been away) and you have to resume reading from the point you find yourself and forget about what you have missed.

    During the Offertory it shouldn’t be difficult to memorize the “clue” movements of the priest: say when he moves to the right to receive the wine from the servant, then again to wash hands, then the movements in the center: bowing, sign of the cross.

    During the Canon there are a few prayers prior to the Consecration, and you will hear the bell at Hanc Igitur, genuflections, etc. Forget about the signs of the cross during the Canon: there are so many that they will not give you a clue as to what is going on.

    Priest recites in a laud voice all the variable prayers, the Preface, Pater noster, the “nobis quoque pecatoribus” etc.

    The High Tridentine Mass is an excellent occasion to be united by singing in Latin in a visible unity with the whole Western Church, of these days and of the by-gone ages; the Low one is a master piece of exercisng an inward discipline and composure, which is simply impossible in the distractive NO. The latter is a verbal, not active, participation.

    An excellent booklet (pink covered pamphlet) is available at the Oratory: can be borrowed in the church, and bought in their bookshop.  


  • Profidebookstore

    True, but it depends on the celebrant; however, it should be easy to identify the Confiteor, because the priest bows down during that prayer; likewise the server. The best is to take position as near the sanctuary as possible.

  • Profidebookstore

    I see no point in your idea. Those few parts that are sung in the High Mass (Kyrie, Gloriea etc) can really be learnt by everybody, not only in the “parrot fashion” but with understanding. Foreign workers are comming to developed countries without knowledge of a local language, and many without a very basic education, and yet menage to communicate within a year or two. Why shouldn’t Catholics learn to understand what they have intially learned without any understanding. All the necessary grammar can be learned within a day or two, and supposing there are five hundred Latin words to learn, that too should be possible to learn within a few months. 

    As for these parts, and others in the Low Mass, they are said by the priest, and most of it is not audible anyway: so, one has to read a vernacular text if his Latin is not good enough, and it makes no difference.

    But what the Western Church would loose with the loss of Latin is the unifying factor: immingrants, international gatherings, sites of pilgrimage; not to mention the ipso facto discrimination in favour of dominant languages on these occasions to the disadvantage and humiliation of smaller nations.Go to the main Mass in Lourdes: French/English/German/Spanish imperialism, called the Mass which “people understand”. 

  • Anonymous

    This information from Cardinal Koch:


    “The Pope’s long-term
    aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to co-exist, but to move
    toward a ‘common rite’ that is shaped by the mutual enrichment of the two Mass
    forms.” regarding a combination Mass of elements from the Traditional Latin
    Mass and the Novus Ordo seems to be a classic case of the Vatican wanting to
    perform a Hegelian Thesis( Traditional Latin Mass) Antithesis (Novus Ordo
    Missae) and the Sythesis (????????)    How long is this reform of the reform of the
    reform going to go?  This sounds like a
    wish for Bugnini II.


    Mr Oddie states that, “impeded
    from re-entering the mainstream of the Church’s liturgical life by an almost
    insuperable barrier.”  On contraire,
    the Mass of Saints, in its current form has existed 14 centuries and the Roman
    Canon has been around for 17 centuries.  No,
    the answer is prayer, real education and most important the Grace of God to
    bring about the restoration of the true Catholic Mass codified in perpetuity by
    the great St. Pius V in Quo Primum.


    What must be looked at is the doctrinal aspect of this
    problem.  The half truths of the Novus
    Ordo are really half errors.  The Novus
    Ordo General Instruction of the Roman Missal calls their service:


    Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God
    gathered together under the presidency of the priest to celebrate the memorial
    of the Lord.”  This is a protestant definition worthy of
    Luther, Cranmer or Bucer.


    legitimacy of the Novus Ordo fails in 3 Major doctrinal ways:  1. The priest, by virtue of his ordination,
    alone consecrates the Blessed Sacrament in the Mass. 
    2.  The Mass is a propitiatory
    sacrifice offered to the Blessed Trinity by which the unbloody Sacrifice of
    Calvary is offered to pay the debt of sin. 
    3.  The real and substantial
    presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
    Victim of Calvary, is effected through transubstantiation. 





  • W Oddie

    Why are these rad trads so spiteful, so plain nasty?  I only ask: what’s the explanation?

  • DB McGinnity

    It is more enterprising to visit: Anglican, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal (Elim Church), Plymouth Brethren, Synagogue Mosque, Hindu, Sikh and Buddhists Temples, Mormons (Society of Friends) Quakers and all other creeds and sects. This is the best way to love God and get to know about ALL of His people from first hand experience. That what God really wishes; for us to know love and serve all his people (even the least of My brethren). The Vatican is not mentioned in the bible and does not have the monopoly on God.  Therefore, all other religions are just as good in the eyes of God.

  • AgingPapist

    Just abolish the chasuable.  Until the 10th century everyone wore one, even acolytes. An alb and stole should be sufficient for all.  Bishops can add a pectoral cross and pastoral staff.  Get rid of those silly miters too.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this article.  Well written, points well taken!

  • AgingPapist

     Tom, I wouldn’t bet the family jewels on the Latin Mass being the ONLY Mass in the future. There is nothing in Pope Ratzinger’s writings to indicate he leans in that direction. He would have abolished the Novus Ordo by now.  Don’t forget he uses the Novus Ordo himself every single day (with ad orientem private Masses in his private chapel). 
    Benedict would not have gone to this trouble to permit vernacular missals throughout the Church just as we are about to start using the 2011 missal in Advent.  All this nonsense and palaver from people predicting only the Tridentine Latin Mass will exist in the future is wishful thinking from radtrads who can’t face reality.
    Some form of the Novus Ordo will survice and continue as the ORDINARY form.  That you can bet on.

  • AgingPapist

    Oh come on. The Tridentine Roman Mass is a bore!!!  A bunch of mumbling wind-up toys in lace dresses and fiddlebacks trying to return to the 16th century. The old Mass was just a performance for a congregation too lazy to pray and participate.  A play or a concert in Latin where everyone just sits and observes a performance..

  • guest

    There will not be enough priests to do the Latin Mass, most Priests that I know speak very little Latin and those that are in the Seminary are a long way from qualified….It will also mean no female lay people who at the moment in Parishes across the world are doing the work because one priest can’t do it all. Therefore nobody to administer to the sick as Extrordinary Eurchuristica Ministers can and no real community either.
    Will the Latin Mass also mean are return to the time when the laity were not trusted to read the bible and had no clue what was in it?

  • guest

    I have heard that they are a generation of arrogant, narcissistic and out of touch men…They want to become like the Priests of the 50s and 60s who had no real contact with their parishoniers, had no understanding of real life either, protected by secrecy so they could abuse with impunity, ruin lives and excommuicate women for divorce that isn’t her fault, while taking money from organised crime..The US maybe be silly enough to love right wing religion but Europe isn’t.  How many of those men are into because it is a promise of a career, a place to live, food to eat and education? Few priests in the past had are real vocation, they were pushed into it and became bitter old men.  Those young men need to be sent to the slums of Sao Paulo and tell them why they shouldn’t have contraception, when they have more children than they can feed…or to South Africa where AIDS is a real killer and tell the women all they have to do is say no…. They will not have much of church to serve because the people that are leaving are because they don’t like the teaching it isn’t liberal enough, many of those that are left will not stay when it is sent back to the dark ages… The “modernist” Priests that I know are in their 40s and 50s , too young, fit and vital to be retired. They care about people and believe in “loving and serving the Lord.”  That goes beyond TLM or ON.

  • guest

    So TLM is about class…you have described NO attendees as low class and low intelligence…Nice to know the truth behind the movemnt…..How many of you go out and feed the hungry or would accepts someone at your mass with untidy clothes? And at what part of the TLM does the congregation pray and talk to God, give him thanks…

  • guest

    It is not Vatican II that has caused churches to empty, it is just the fact that people don’t believe in many of the teachings..They want to chose how many children they can have, they want sex without guilt, they want to be free from abusive or loveless marriages without condemnation and judgement. They don’t believe in the Immaculate Conception and see it as propaganda and not even biblical. They have experienced balmy, twisted nuns in Catholic school that showed the RCC to be judgemental, cruel and devoid of love in its teaching. The new is mass is like a meal with friends maybe because that was what the Last Supper was, it wasn’t ritualised..It is about the joining of a community as well as Christ’s sacrifice.  If I am praying the Rosary at Mass, I am not participating, I am not learning anything and the ritual mights as well not be happening. In NO there is time for personal prayer and communal prayer. Sometimes the Mass has music, sometimes it has none which can be very peaceful, it is always possible to follow the Priest…I have never seen liturgical dancing at Mass.

  • Aunt Raven

    The pope has already instructed disobedient bishops to get with the program.  As they retire, the pope is replacing the aging  bishops who give him lip-service yet drag their feet obeying him.  The younger bishops are obedient and share the pope’s vision for a renewal of reverence and beauty in worship, and removing “protestantized elements” introduced into the liturgy in a mistaken notion of the ecumenism encouraged by the Second Vatican Counsel, –which was only pastoral, not doctrinal.  

  • Aunt Raven

    “Calm down dear, . . ”  !  One of the former Episcopalian, early “Ordinariate” priests in the USA (for 25 years called the “Anglican Use”) taught himself Latin after converting to the Catholic Church, and has for several years now said a fluent and reverent Latin Novus Ordo of great dignity and beauty every Friday at his parish.  

    Latin is an easy language to learn (far easier than English or French)  with many free on-line learning resources.  I myself have become fairly good at it this way–you could too, if you wanted to try. 

    Seminaries are now instructed to teach seminarians the extraordinary form, so the young priests will be able to answer pastoral requests for it.  The 20-year old son of a friend of mine is entering the seminary this September–he has taken two semesters of Latin beforehand, so as  to learn the Old Mass quicker.  This young man, by the way, was for years server to the former Episcopalian priest mentioned above; a priest so humble and holy that this young man wanted to become a priest like him.  

     I am an extraordinary eucharistic minster (not currently active because not needed–we have sufficient men EUMs in my parish) I know many men who are are extraordinary eucharistic ministers, so no need to panic for lack of lay people of both sexes eager for this ministry.  

    A return to Latin Mass at least part of the time will restore to Christendom what Esperanto never achieved: a universal language for believers around the globe.   

  • Aunt Raven

    Many of these religions hold that the doctrines of the others is false. Most of them have some core agreements, but have conflicting theologies.  Each proclaims to be the one true religion: so all religions are not equal in the sight of God, who is Truth. Some have more of the truth than others, and therefore are more pleasing to God. Some have a lot less truth and therefore are less pleasing to God. This is just logic, not prejudice.  
    For the love of God I must respect my neighbor and not insult his beliefs; he is my brother. However that does not mean I respect his schismatic or heretical beliefs in those aspects I know to be false and evil.  For example, I respect my neighbor who is Muslim who is kindhearted and a good citizen, while at the same time having no belief that the Koran is scripture inspired by God. 
    The Vatican is one of the seven hills of Rome –Rome (mentioned in the Bible) where St Peter, first pope, the vicar of Christ, ministered as bishop and chief of the other bishops, and was later crucified and where most of his successors continued their ministry as vicar of Christ to the present.  All true religions share in the truth, have more or less; but only the Catholic Church (despite that is is made of of sinners struggling toward salvation, and this includes some bad clerics) is guided doctrinally by the Holy Spirit so that it cannot teach heresy.   As such it has the FULLNESS of  Truth, while others do not.  

  • Aunt Raven

    It’s a case of 
    “Zeal for Thy house hath consumed me.”  vs. “Be not righteous overmuch.”  :-) 

  • Aunt Raven

    Ah, the mischief-making misplaced modifier: 
    Which made Evelyn Waugh miserable:  The 65 Missal, or the Latin Mass Society? 
    Enquiring minds want to know ! 

  • Aunt Raven

    Deaf people follow the  Mass (Traditional or Novus Ordo ad orientem) without difficulty all the time, and I don’t mean signed Masses either. (Ask some of them)  It just takes spending some time getting used to it.  The Holy Spirit enfolds you in the sacred silence, and after a while you “get it”.  Trust the Holy Spirit and go with the flow.  You’ll like it.  
    My father, a non-practising Presbyterian, was converted to the faith in about 1940 when as a young man he went into a Catholic Church as Mass was beginning.  (why he went is another story) He didn’t understand Latin, but he completely understood that this was the sacrifice of Calvary, and the action of God through man, and he said though he didn’t understand the ritual actions nevertheless he knew the presence of God was there, felt he was home, and afterward asked to take instructions. He became the only Catholic in his community, and such a good one that he gained grudging respect from his family and neighbors.   My father in 1950 was killed in action in the Korean War when his minesweeper was blown up by floating mines.  In his last letter to my mother he wrote that when the ship docked in a Japanese port that he could go to Mass, and that though the congregation knelt on straw mats rather than pews,  he found great comfort  that “it was in Latin, just like at home.” 

  • Aunt Raven

    “. . . The new is mass is like a meal with friends—maybe because that was what the Last Supper was, it wasn’t ritualised.. .”  WRONG.  The Last Supper was a highly ritualized Jewish Seder, with specified actions and dialogue, as required by GOD after the exodus from Egypt.  The Mass is so much MORE  than a meal with friends–that is a Protestant understanding–it is in fact the Unbloody sacrifice of Calvary mystically on the altar, –after which  Christ gives his body and blood to those there not only to make them one, but to destroy sin, and bring eternal salvation.  I don’t know any other meal with friends which does that !   

  • Aunt Raven

    The rosary has been called “a school of contemplation” because it is based on scripture, and the mysteries on the economy of the redemption.  It does different things for you at different times depending on what your spiritual needs are.  Some people say the words without thinking, and dwell on the mystery.  Others sometimes cannot focus on the mysteries, and so just try to say the words meaningfully.  At other times the attention wanders so (not willfully, sometimes due to stress or fatigue) that one says the words by rote and the only thing anchoring one in the intent of prayer is the physical action of  slipping beads through the fingers.  
     When I was a child in the early 60′s, I went to daily (Old Latin) Mass at my parochial school.  Though I knew what generally was happening at any given time at the altar, slipping the beads through my fingers while automatically reciting Hail Mary after Hail Mary kept me focused on worship, and away from the temptation of speculating on the cost of the pert hat of the little school mate in front of me.  The rosary at Mass was a great aid to worship for keeping the mind from wandering from the action at the altar, even as the rosary itself was not per se said very well.  This tranquil, semi-automatic recitation of the rosary was especially useful in times of great stress, for example at the funeral Mass of a loved one.  

  • Aunt Ravaen

    You would have the answer to your desire if you could attend a  high Mass of the Anglican Use (Ordinariate) in the mature AU parishes in the USA –you’d have the best of both worlds:  The Mass is said ad orientam, with incense, and asperiges according to season.  The Roman Canon is said in the dignified and poetic English of the Book of Divine Worship ( the Vatican-approved adaptation of the Book of Common Prayer: which you must remember was originally adapted in English from the Sarum Rite). All the singing is in Latin, the congregation joining in lustily– and not just the Missa de Angelis; they know at least four of the regular Plainchant Masses.  They have had many requests by older people for Requiem Masses said in English but with the traditional Latin chant–it is indescribably lovely, and many non-Catholics have remarked this and a couple I know of have returned and eventually become Catholic because of this happy combination of English and Latin in the Anglican Use Parishes, especially those in Texas. The Ordinariate may well bring this happy fusion to Englalnd and Wales. . . you would quite like it, I think.  

  • Aunt Raven

    The formal English of the Mass according to the Vatican-approved Book of Divine Worship is both sacred and beautiful, and if you heard it, you would approve.  The Ordinariate in the UK has this option and I hope you have a chance to worship at a Mass according to this luminously contemplative liturgy.   

  • No Longer Deceived

    The (as you say, Mr Oddie) ‘Old Rite’ is the Roman Catholic Rite – the Novus Ordo is an entirely new order, as it says on the can. The one is undeniably catholic and the other is not. Whatever it is, it is not the Roman Rite of Mass

  • No Longer Deceived

    This Pope is shot through with the sort of theological errors you can find condemned in the Syllabus. He is far from alone – his three predecessors were similarly afflicted and almost all the present English episcopate are very nearly liberal protestants and have little in common with those who went before them. It is not a nice thing to say but if we hold a proper trial of the matter I am well ready to act as prosecutor and promote my charge - let them defend themselves of the charge as opposed to hiding behind their borrowed episcopal glory. You can expect nothing but foul water from a polluted well – why expect other from those men? There are those among them who have almost apostasised from the Roman Catholic Faith. There are many who are material heretics. Can you expect orthodoxy of belief from such like?

    IF “The Pope’s long-term aim is not simply to allow the old and new rites to co-exist, but to movetoward a ‘common rite’  then that is no surprise. The English protestants of the 16th Century did much the same. Why should their 20th and 21st century successors do differently. Even after many centuries the apple falls not far from its tree

    You write: ‘Mr Oddie states that, “impeded from re-entering the mainstream of the Church’s liturgical life by an almost insuperable barrier.” On (sic) contraire, the Mass of Saints, in its current form has existed 14 centuries and the Roman Canon has been around for 17 centuries.’ Does Mr Oddie know this? Most certainly he does. Will it change what he says or writes? Most certainly it will not. Why so?  Let him answer. Will he? It is doubtful.

    The Novus Ordo is not the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. It is an entirely new creation. All know this as true – it says so, itself. It is riddled with intentional ambiguities. It is a neo liberal protestant rite that was intended to water down catholic language and references to ‘sacrifice’ that so offend protestants. Hence ‘The Lord’s Supper, or Mass, is a sacred synaxis, or assembly of the people of God gathered together under the presidency of the prebyter to celebrate the memorial of the Lord.” This is protestant. Nothing else but protestant.
    Bowlderising the Catholic Rite will not make the Novus Ordo more than the sham that it is.   


  • A Asomugha

    while  i have experienced and appreciate the old reverence in the New Mass, i dont think women should be off the sanctuary. the Priesthood is for men – that we know….
    but in Westminster Cathedral, the women Eucharistic ministers are so reverent .. they even have their special  sahes, cover their head with black laced veils and wear black suits with black skirts.. every thing is rehearsed and our Lord is given ‘FULL HONOURS’.. unlike other churches were there is no polished eucharistic service and its like the ministers just troop onto the Sanctuary.. its awful