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Why do our Bishops pull out candidates for the priesthood from seminaries which teach the Extraordinary Form? Why are they so intent on defying the Pope?

The new vision of liturgical pluralism should now be an integral part of priestly formation

By on Thursday, 18 August 2011

Photo: CNS

Photo: CNS

About three months ago, I wrote a piece about the pastoral letter from all the bishops on the subject of the new translation of the Novus Ordo—a letter which I said was another example of “a pattern of behaviour which the bishops have been exhibiting more and more since the papal visit”. I was thinking also of the welcome given by them to the Ordinariate (a stark contrast to their behaviour 15 years ago when they crushed any such idea before it had chance to be born), and also of the restoration of two of our holy days of obligation, the return of Friday abstinence from meat, and so on.

All this was very welcome, and I had hopes that it portended not a selective tactical retreat but a permanent and irreversible cultural revolution. But a blog posted on Monday by Fr Christopher Smith, tellingly headlined “Why Are Seminaries Afraid of the Extraordinary Form?” tells a different story: the revolution in English Episcopal thinking has some way to go yet. Anglicanorum Coetibus may have attracted the support of our bishops: but Summorum Pontificum has so far attracted stiff Episcopal opposition to the Pope’s wishes, an attitude which may tell the real truth about what they think of him and his vision for the Church’s future. Why are seminaries afraid of the Extraordinary Form? Simple: as Fr Hill puts it, “what does a good seminary rector do when he knows that Tradition-unfriendly Bishops will pull their guys out of their seminaries if they begin to teach the EF?”

The fact is that these “Tradition-unfriendly Bishops”—if it really is, quite shockingly, the case that they are likely to pull their ordination candidates out from any seminary which teaches the Extraordinary Form—may think that they are being progressive and forward looking in defending their dioceses from the Pope’s vision of liturgical pluralism: but they are in fact being just as as reactionary and backward looking as those who they believe scandalously stood in the way of the Second Vatican Council (even though many of them were actually opposed to the distortion of the Council by people like them).

And their reactionary and authoritarian views on Summorum Pontificum (though they oppose the pope’s wishes on the bogus grounds that the Extraordinary form is divisive) are themselves, by leading those bishops who hold them secretly to subvert or even openly to oppose the Pope’s wishes for the liturgy, in fact profoundly divisive if not actually schismatic—as well as tyrannically authoritarian.

They are, it has to be said, prolonging an essentially totalitarian attitude towards the Old Rite and the liturgical ideas of the present Pope which has a long and inglorious history. If you want a flavour of what used to happen and probably still does, read Fr Smith’s blog. It opens with a chilling story, which I would have found as incredible as it should be, if it were not for the fact that I have heard variants of it so many times before from a wide variety of different sources:

I had just entered the seminary when Cardinal Ratzinger’s book, The Spirit of the Liturgy, came out. I had an English copy expressed to me and brought it with me into the chapel as my spiritual reading during our daily community Holy Hour. One of the older men knelt next to me as I was engrossed in Ratzinger’s chapter on Rite and whispered, “Do you want to get kicked out of the seminary? Change the book cover now.” All of my attempts to not publicise the fact that I actually knew the Old Latin Mass had apparently been blown out of the water by this defiant act of wanton schism. Suddenly seminarians began to knock on my door and counsel me how to survive the seminary, and so I exchanged Ignatius Press’ book cover for one entitled “The Pastoral Letters of Paul VI.”

The hostility, however, wasn’t simply towards what we now know as the Extraordinary form, but also towards even the Novus Ordo in Latin, to which many ordinary Parishioners (like me for one) are attracted if for no other reason than their distaste for the cack-handed English translation from which we are soon to be, and not before time, so gloriously liberated (“And also with you” indeed: yuk, even after 20 years).

But willingness quite within the rules to celebrate the Ordinary form in Latin was (and still is, I suspect) in many dioceses something to be rooted out, to the extent that the liberal ex-nuns and other lay malcontents who are so often made responsible for weeding out undesirables from the diocesan ministry use it as a criterion: a friend of mine who teaches theology in Oxford (no names, no pack drill) supervising the doctoral thesis of a young man certain of his vocation to the priesthood told me in exasperation that he had been turned down by a lay busybody working for one diocese because he foolishly answered a trick question designed to elicit whether he was favourably disposed to the Mass in Latin: Did he have any hostility to it? Answer “no” and you are (or were) out. Traditionalist candidates for the priesthood have to be as wily as serpents as well as innocent as doves as they go through the diocesan machinery. Maybe it’s different now, who knows? But I have my doubts.

There has to be a major shift in the mindset which still holds sway in too many dioceses, both towards the Extraordinary form itself, and to the whole rich and diverse liturgical traditional of what we still call the Church of the Latin Rite. There should be, as Fr Hill says,

…. a joyous welcome to the EF within [seminaries’] daily life.…

The most important reason is that the Magisterium has made it very clear that there are two forms of the same Roman Rite and that both are equal in dignity. If all priests of the Latin Rite have the right to celebrate both forms, it follows that seminaries should then form all priests in both forms. Then, they will be ready to fulfill the requests of those faithful who desire the EF and they will broaden their own pastoral horizon.

The enthusiastic welcome of the EF into seminary life will also unmask the tension that has been growing over EF-friendly seminarians in houses of formation. If they are not formed properly in the seminary to be able to offer the EF, many will embark on an auto-didactic parallel formation which will keep their minds, hearts and often their bodies out of the seminary formation environment. When seminarians begin such an autodidactic parallel formation, the tendency is to develop a form of duplicity to be able to engage in such formation. And given the state of the clergy in today’s Church, no seminary can afford to give seminarians a blank check to get their formation elsewhere.

A Plan for Integrating the EF into Seminary Life

But how can the EF be integrated into seminary life? First of all, all of those involved in priestly formation must come to accept what Pope Benedict XVI has done for the Roman liturgy: he has declared that there are two forms of one Roman rite, and every priest has a right to celebrate both. If that is true, the question must be asked: Why is every seminarian in the Latin Rite not trained in both forms? Some seminaries have offered some limited training to those who are interested in it, but that still makes it seem like the EF is a hobby for some priests, or some kind of eccentric movement barely tolerated within the Church, and not of equal value with the OF.

Yet before any seminary can integrate the EF into seminary life, seminaries must offer a comprehensive training in the Latin language and sacred music. These two subjects, which were once part and parcel of every seminary training, have been relegated to a few optional classes in many places, when they should undergird the curriculum.

Father Smith has raised serious questions to which we are all entitled to an answer. There should indeed be as a matter of urgency “a plan for integrating the EF into seminary life”. The bishops above all should support such an objective: if they don’t, they will be fomenting disunity within the Church, and subverting the authority of the Magisterium. Do they really want that?

  • Anonymous

    I suspect it’s not so much a dislike of the Extraordinary Form itself (which is very beautiful and nourishing to the soul) as a nervousness about other characteristics sometimes to be found amongst some of its young admirers – extreme clericalism, far-right politics, an unhealthy interest in rites and ceremonies for their own sake, camp giggliness, and disdain not only for other Christians but also for ordinary Catholics. There’s no reason why these things should go together with a love of the Extraordinary Form, but it’s undeniable that they quite often do.

  • Anonymous

    I suspect it’s not so much a dislike of the Extraordinary Form itself (which is very beautiful and nourishing to the soul) as a nervousness about other characteristics sometimes to be found amongst some of its young admirers – extreme clericalism, far-right politics, an unhealthy interest in rites and ceremonies for their own sake, camp giggliness, and disdain not only for other Christians but also for ordinary Catholics. There’s no reason why these things should go together with a love of the Extraordinary Form, but it’s undeniable that they quite often do.

  • Fr Ian

    Some seminaries have offered some limited training to those who are interested in it, but that still makes it seem like the EF is a hobby for some priests, or some kind of eccentric movement barely tolerated within the Church, and not of equal value with the OF.

    Perhaps had the Magisterium spent sufficient time in consultation with the Church universal and had a greater sense of the reality of the faith lives of its membership and its mode of functioning in the vast majority of parishes throughout the world, it would have realised that the imposition of the EF is indeed perceived by many to be an affectation of the minority and not a form of liturgy that speaks to the majority.

  • Fr Ian

    Some seminaries have offered some limited training to those who are interested in it, but that still makes it seem like the EF is a hobby for some priests, or some kind of eccentric movement barely tolerated within the Church, and not of equal value with the OF.

    Perhaps had the Magisterium spent sufficient time in consultation with the Church universal and had a greater sense of the reality of the faith lives of its membership and its mode of functioning in the vast majority of parishes throughout the world, it would have realised that the imposition of the EF is indeed perceived by many to be an affectation of the minority and not a form of liturgy that speaks to the majority.

  • Fr Ian

     agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments you have mentioned with respect to the characterstics of some of those who totally subscribe to this Rite.  I have attended two celebrations of the EF and been put off onboth occasions by the rather effeminate and camp nature of the celebrants.  The high roman collar, long dress coat over the soutane, biretta and (in the case of one young priest) the saturna, and a feriola just rankled. I could not imagine these priests living and working among the constituency which it is my privilege to serve.  While the liturgy and the music from the choir was reflective and prayerful, it was more an art form and executed with strict military precision. Nice to watch; gave me a bit of prayerful breathing space, but as a Rite with which to celebrate Mass, no thank you.  I have no intention of learning to celebrate this Rite – I find it alien and by far the most regressive step our Church has taken in recent years.  Don’t even get me started on the new Rite of Mass!  

  • Anonymous

    I think the clue is in the name.  Extraordinary means out of the ordinary, it is not meant to replace the novo ordus in the vernacular or take us back to pre-Vatican II days (as some seem to want.)  It is merely an option for those priests and congregations that particularly want it.  I think the bishops are quite rightly suspicious of some candidates in seminaries that show an overbearing interest in it and would impose it on congregations in their future ministry.

    The church I attend has a high proportion of converts from other Christian denominations and no religion – hardly anyone has any memory or experience of the pre-Vatican II mass.  I suspect that any future priest attempting to impose the EF in latin with chant etc. would quickly empty the church and parishioners would go elsewhere.

  • Paul Waddington

    I attended a  usus antiquior Mass recently, and in the congregation were two seminarians attending one of our English seminaries.  It was obvious that these two seminarians were enthused by Mass in this form and were quite familiar with it.  Further investigation suggests that many seminarians are similarly disposed, but find it necessary to keek their views to themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Veuster
     
    You have summed up the situation very well.
     
    Many of those who advocate the EF hark back to a Golden Age that did not exist, and believe that the EF would be the answer to the Church’s (and society’s) ills. They also have an agenda beyond the celebration of the EF, as you say.
     
    Their attitude probably scares more people away from accepting the EF, which, as you say, is very beautiful.

  • Anonymous

    Veuster
     
    You have summed up the situation very well.
     
    Many of those who advocate the EF hark back to a Golden Age that did not exist, and believe that the EF would be the answer to the Church’s (and society’s) ills. They also have an agenda beyond the celebration of the EF, as you say.
     
    Their attitude probably scares more people away from accepting the EF, which, as you say, is very beautiful.

  • Paul Waddington

    Fr Ian speaks of the “imposition of the EF”.  I wonder if he is old enough to remember how the novus ordo Mass, and before it the vernacular form, was imposed.  I remember it well.  It was steam rollered through, with priests who did not like it severely disciplined.  For example, curates, and there were many of them in those days, who did not like the changes were moved and placed under the most authoritarian parish priests.  Parish priests who were not diligent in introducing the changes were removed and made convent chaplains or in some cases put out to grass.  The laity were simply given no choice.

    Of course, there were those who were enthusiasts for change, and there were those who were indifferent, but there ware also many who did not like the changes.

    Of course the extraordinary form is not being imposed on anyone.  It is being provided as an option.  In contrast, the novus ordo was imposed.  Would Fr Ian be be equally vehement in his condemnation of the way that change was introduced?

  • guest

    Hmm, many attendees at the EF Mass at our parish are quite young and had no experience of the older Mass growing up. They just like it and bring their often rather large families.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-H-Smith/1491302672 Michael H Smith

    What authority? The Magisterium has been all but ignored since at least 1968 and Humani Vitae in nearly all dioceses. Other than join the schismatic Society of St. Pius the X, the only possible way out would be to join the  Priestly Society of St. Peter, other Traditional Rite orders, moving to a more faithful diocese if necessary. The much advertised “New Springtime” is still a long way off.

  • Anonymous

    I think the headline to this article needs to be changed. It makes a statement, whilst the detail in the article seems to rest on probablies and maybes. I don’t think a critique based on speculation is particularly helpful. Whilst I would like to see a more enthusiastic reception by the Bishops to the teaching of the EF in their seminaries, I think this article paints a more sinister portrait of the situation than the facts can prove. The one contemporary anecdote which Dr Oddie gives in this country in fact relates to a refusal of a candidate to enter the seminary, not his removal from a seminary which teaches the EF, and nor is there any evidence put forwards for the young man’s answer to the question about his attitude towards the Mass in Latin being the reason for the refusal.

  • Fr Mark

    It is misleading to talk of “our” bishops here. Fr Christopher Smith is an American incardinated in an American diocese and his comments reflect the situation there. I doubt very much whether any British bishop has pulled a candidate from an EF friendly seminary, for the simple reason that no such seminaries are available to diocesan seminarians from these islands.

  • http://quilisma.myopenid.com/ quilisma

    I attended an EF Mass for the Feast of the Assumption at a local ICRSP chapel. It’s very rare that I have the chance to go there. It being holiday period, the choir was a bit short of numbers, so I helped out.
    I’m only in my early forties, but I think I was the oldest one amongst the singers.
    In my own parish (ordinary form), I run a choir and I’m definitely the youngest one there…..

    This thought has been playing on my mind all week….

  • Anonymous

    Sadly, the answer is, a lot of Bishops are not fit for purpose and have been “promoted” beyond their ability.

  • Anonymous

    @ Fr Ian.
                   I heartily disagree. I have attended ER Masses in Dublin, Glasgow, and a nummber in different London churches. There are always plenty of young people, and ususally more families than you would see at an average “family Mass”, in the congregation. Sadly I am not allowed to attend in my own diocese as the Bishop will not allow the EF. In complete disobedience to the Pope.
     Remember it was the present Holy Father who is allowing the rediscovery of this hallowed and ancient rite. I do hope you do not think him “regressive!?”

  • Anonymous

    @Fr Mark.
                     Then the question is why are such seminaries not available? ” Two equal forms of the one Roman Rite” The Holy Father says. It would seem that the Bishops know better and one form is very much more equal than the other.

  • Tommyadams93

    We are far from being a “catholic” Church.  Between the Bishops failing to follow in unity with the pope and everyone appears to just do what they want, it is about sickening.  If ever there has been a house divided this is it!  I think the Holy Father should just fire all the Bishops and Cardinals (with the exception of those proven to be loyal to him) and start over rebuilding the hierarchy from the ground up.  A move like that might even “separate the ‘sheep’ from the ‘goats’” and we can move forward with the work of Christ.

  • Anonymous

    While I have no particular attachment to the Extraordinary Form, I find your comments rather odd.

    Having just read the CH article on Bishop Davies’ address to WYD English pilgrims, I find his guidance spot on:

    “When I was a lot younger than yourselves amid the turmoil and
    controversies of that time my parish priest gave me a simple piece of
    advice, a wise counsel I wish to pass on to you. ‘Stand with the Pope,’
    he told me, ‘always stand with the Pope and you won’t go wrong.’

  • GFFM

    In some American seminaries, the EF can be divisive, but this generally happens because the bishop, rector and the director of liturgy for the seminary does not teach or model the appropriate attitude toward the EF. Leadership is crucial to a balanced attitude toward the EF and the Novus Ordo done in English or Latin. I can say this because I have observed the divisiveness first hand. Young men can be attracted to the EF because of the reverence they perceive and they can be attracted because  they are nostalgic for cassocks and Latin.  By the way the two positions are not mutually exclusive. They are attracted frequently to the pomp and circumstance: the Latin, the smells, the bells, the birettas, the cassocks and on an on. If you are a seminarian in a seminary where the majority of young men are drawn toward the EF, odds are you will have a difficult time with your confreres. Of course this situation is dependent upon the leadership by the bishop and rector. I have also witnessed seminary teachers and professors who maintain that the Novus Ordo is not valid or is so flawed theologically it needs to be suppressed or completely redone. I have a running argument with a close priest friend of mine who believes this and I know of other priests who believe exactly the same thing. Right now there are bishops in the US who will not send their men to a seminary if the EF is not taught or said regularly; and there are bishops and rectors who will not countenance or offer the EF in their respective seminaries. Clearly, these are two extreme positions. With the new translation of the Mass I hope for more balance and better leadership on the part of the leadership within the Church. Also I look forward to the vernacular being used with solemnity and beauty.

  • Climoge45

    Those who have posted here who have a “distaste” for the Traditional Rite clearly are clueless as to the true difference between it and the Novus Ordo Mass.

    From the arguements and comments for preferring the Novus Ordo, they provide one with a sense of speaking to a Protestant rather than a Catholic. I found the comments on the size of the famimlies attending the EF, I assume you advocate the use of contraception and abortion to large families to the comment of wishing the Magisterium had asked for permission from the Church members before issuing a directive on the use of the EF.

    I find the one-sidedness and apparent hatred for something you clearly do not understand, quite sad and uterly revolting. No wonder the Church is in such a crisis. It is filled with priests and lay people like yourselves. It is clear that those who were, in their heart, clearly Protestant, instead of leaving the Church and joining the Protestant church, the desire was to take what was clearly Catholic and make it more Protestant than most Protestant churches. Thus the Novus Ordo. They are not the same Mass. Never have been, never will be. The Novus Ordo is far inferior and always will be.

    I wonder why I am even writing this as it will probably go in one ear and out the other or beter yet, and ironiclly so, it will be called uncharitable. Lol, sip, lol, sip. Really? And wasn’t forcing a new Mass on millions of Catholics attending a Mass which had been handed down from Christ, uncharitable? Instead of a Mass which is a sacrifice tso God (EF), we get handed one created by man (NO) which is a sacrifice to man. Stzop beimg so selfish and get with God’s program not yours.

    Sip
    $@&$
    Sip
    %}#}{*{+
    sip

  • Carl

    I talked to a friend who is a seminarian studying  at the North American Seminary in rome.  He said our bishop doesn’t require them to study the EF and it is only an optional course in ROME

  • American Guest

    I returned to the Church after a chance attendance at a Tridentine mass. All priests should offer both forms.

  • Charles

    If bishops will not submit to the Holy Father, then they have relinquished their right to demand submission from their subjects.

  • Joan

    Can you give some specific examples of what you mean by right wing politics and what you mean by disdain for other Christians. I don’t disdain other Christians but I don’t believe in ecumenism because it waters down the Catholic faith and has always been condemned by the Church. Also who are these ordinary Catholics that I disdain because I’m an ordinary Catholic myself although I would not dream of attending any other Mass but the Traditional Latin Mass.  How  do you  know what is in the minds of ordinary Catholics?  When I used to attend the novus ordo Mass I  met an awful lot of arrogant people who  had so many unCatholic views about morality and other things that I couldn’t believe it but I could list their beliefs  they were pro-gay and pro-choice and didn’t believe in papal infallibility and one of them told me he probably didn’t believe the same thing as I did about the Eucharist. So, please give us actual examples,  not just make a sweeping statement.

  • Joan

    The SSPX is not a schismatic society.  Perhaps you are not aware of the fact but the Pope lifted the excommunications on bishops of the  Society some time ago and his spokesman, Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, said in intervews that anyone who thinks the SSPX  are in schism “doesn’t understand the situation.” Even earlier, Cardinal Cassidy was in charge of ecumenism and asked if the SSPX would be part of his outreach work.  He told a press conference that they would not be part of his  work because the SSPX are “an internal matter” so how you can think they are schismatic, beats me. Some malicious people keep using this insult “schismatic” so I hope you are not one of them, deliberately lying, because that can only hold back the fixing of the “irregular situation” which  is how the Vatican describes the SSPX. 

  • Joan

    Do  you like priests saying Mass in casual dress or dressed like clowns?  It is  very strange argument to give that you find the Mass that nourished the saint for centuries “alien” (and because of the vestments) while having no problem with a Mass that the pope himself has described as a “banal on the spot production.”

    And I do find your presumption of homosexuality  in priests offering the Traditional Mass very concerning.  That thought would never cross the mind of most people, I  have no doubt. Sorry, no intention of being offensive but I found those comments of yours highly offensive.

  • Joan

    Do  you like priests saying Mass in casual dress or dressed like clowns?  It is  very strange argument to give that you find the Mass that nourished the saint for centuries “alien” (and because of the vestments) while having no problem with a Mass that the pope himself has described as a “banal on the spot production.”

    And I do find your presumption of homosexuality  in priests offering the Traditional Mass very concerning.  That thought would never cross the mind of most people, I  have no doubt. Sorry, no intention of being offensive but I found those comments of yours highly offensive.

  • Joan

    Do  you like priests saying Mass in casual dress or dressed like clowns?  It is  very strange argument to give that you find the Mass that nourished the saint for centuries “alien” (and because of the vestments) while having no problem with a Mass that the pope himself has described as a “banal on the spot production.”

    And I do find your presumption of homosexuality  in priests offering the Traditional Mass very concerning.  That thought would never cross the mind of most people, I  have no doubt. Sorry, no intention of being offensive but I found those comments of yours highly offensive.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LRPN6HG2CG2SWZ2H5LK7MJ4BLM phoo

    Hear this!  the author of this article, Dr. Oddie, needs to address this serious problem.  Also, the subject of this article stirs up such a can of worms that it is difficult to write about – or read – without losing a sense of coherence.  This subject is of extreme importance, and I recommend Dr. Oddie keep pounding away at it, but very selectively, stay focused closely on one issue at a time, or else it walks all over the place and gets away. ty.  keep up the good work, but this comment about what’s wrong with Traditionalists needs to be addressed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LRPN6HG2CG2SWZ2H5LK7MJ4BLM phoo

    Hear this!  the author of this article, Dr. Oddie, needs to address this serious problem.  Also, the subject of this article stirs up such a can of worms that it is difficult to write about – or read – without losing a sense of coherence.  This subject is of extreme importance, and I recommend Dr. Oddie keep pounding away at it, but very selectively, stay focused closely on one issue at a time, or else it walks all over the place and gets away. ty.  keep up the good work, but this comment about what’s wrong with Traditionalists needs to be addressed.

  • Dan

    I must commend Climoge45 for a straightforward, unapologetic survey of the problem.  It is way past time someone speaks cleary and unequivocally about the vast superiority of the Ancient Rite over the Swinging 60s concoction that has been decimating the Church for over 40 years.  And let us, please, be accurate here: Pope Paul’s New Mass, properly said, in Latin, ad Orientem, with altar boys and Communion on the tongue and Gregorian Chant, does not exist in any diocese that I know of.  It is the very rare exception.  The rule, on the other hand, is the infantile rubbish that most Catholics are subjected to every Sunday, and I needn’t go over the laundry list here.  The Novus Ordo as commonly offered is an embarrassment.

    I’m amused by those who are offened by having the traditional Rite “imposed” by Benedict (would that it were!).  As other posts have pointed out, where were they in 1970 when we had this puerile New Mass shoved down our throats without so much as a by-your-leave?

    As for the priests who cringe at the sight of traditional garments, statuary, smells and bells, etc., what can one say?  Here are men so totally disconnected from their historical past that they can no longer even recognize simple piety.  They prefer amateurism over art, crass showmanship over quiet reflection, “Amazing Grace” over Palestrina, banality over the sacred.  I guess Dostoevskey was right: men can become accustomed to anything, even cannibalism.

    Thank you, Climoge45 for your trenchant observations, and thank you, Dr Oddie, for your fine article.

  • Dan

    I must commend Climoge45 for a straightforward, unapologetic survey of the problem.  It is way past time someone speaks cleary and unequivocally about the vast superiority of the Ancient Rite over the Swinging 60s concoction that has been decimating the Church for over 40 years.  And let us, please, be accurate here: Pope Paul’s New Mass, properly said, in Latin, ad Orientem, with altar boys and Communion on the tongue and Gregorian Chant, does not exist in any diocese that I know of.  It is the very rare exception.  The rule, on the other hand, is the infantile rubbish that most Catholics are subjected to every Sunday, and I needn’t go over the laundry list here.  The Novus Ordo as commonly offered is an embarrassment.

    I’m amused by those who are offened by having the traditional Rite “imposed” by Benedict (would that it were!).  As other posts have pointed out, where were they in 1970 when we had this puerile New Mass shoved down our throats without so much as a by-your-leave?

    As for the priests who cringe at the sight of traditional garments, statuary, smells and bells, etc., what can one say?  Here are men so totally disconnected from their historical past that they can no longer even recognize simple piety.  They prefer amateurism over art, crass showmanship over quiet reflection, “Amazing Grace” over Palestrina, banality over the sacred.  I guess Dostoevskey was right: men can become accustomed to anything, even cannibalism.

    Thank you, Climoge45 for your trenchant observations, and thank you, Dr Oddie, for your fine article.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OTCKAYXC6V65WVJUPZFYCCUEUU Lee

    This sounds drastic and really bad but to ensure orthodoxy and fidelity to the message of Our Lord and to the faith of all times, is it possible to excommunicate or boot out all these malcontents and leeches of The Devil’s horde ?? Like seriously I would happily lead the way with no charity at all equal to the amount of hate they have shown to steadfast and orthodox Catholic theology ( like The ‘Roman Mass’ ).

  • http://twitter.com/markduch Mark Duch

    And the truth is exposed quite brilliantly.  The priest shortage has much to do with liberals in positions of authority trying to keep faithful seminarians from becoming priests.  Is there anything these “Catholics” aren’t willing to destroy?

  • FRS

    If the Magisterium had spent sufficient time with the Church Universal and the reality of the faith lives of its membership after Vatican II, and not trusting Concilium, we would never have had the Novus Ordo.

  • Anonymous

    Code of Canon Law Can. 249: “The program of priestly formation is to provide that students not only are carefully taught their native language but also understand Latin well…” That and Can. 915 have to be the two most neglected canons in the Church’s Code of Canon Law.

    Also, these stories here are definitely true. I have talked to an EF-only priest who said that when he travels, he cannot find a priest to lodge him because they are so opposed to the EF; he has to stay in hotels by himself!

  • Ben Trovato

    But Fr Ian,

    I do not want ‘a form of liturgy that speaks to the majority.’ I want a form of liturgy that enables the faithful to encounter God.

  • Parasum

    “Fr Ian speaks of the “imposition of the EF”.  I wonder if he is old
    enough to remember how the novus ordo Mass, and before it the vernacular
    form, was imposed.  I remember it well.  It was steam rollered through,
    with priests who did not like it severely disciplined.  For example,
    curates, and there were many of them in those days, who did not like the
    changes were moved and placed under the most authoritarian parish
    priests.  Parish priests who were not diligent in introducing the
    changes were removed and made convent chaplains or in some cases put out
    to grass.  The laity were simply given no choice.”

    ##  Exactly – and the proof of that is in the first volume of Michael Davies’ “Apologia pro Marcel Lefebvre”.

    IM – diffidently offered – O, this authoritarianism in imposing the revised Missal after V2 was a result of the insistence upon obedience to Rome that was part of Ultramontane clericalism; it fetishised obedience, & the result was the anti-Catholic & ruinous pseudo-obedience to authority that has so greatly harmed the Church. Given the “auto-demolition of the Church” it is hardly surprising that the same perverted type of obedience should raise its head again.

  • Parasum

    “effeminate and camp nature of the celebrants”

    ## Better that, than the blasphemous travesties that are “clown Masses”, “cookie Masses”, “Masses” co-offered by a Catholic priest and an Anglican minister, Masses at which the consecrated Host is not swallowed but retained or dropped on the ground or floor to be trampled underfoot, Masses (*assuming* they are valid) at which the Words of Consecration are mangled or their meaning changed – & those are only the perversions I can think of without looking such things up. At least the “camp” priests were dressed as priests and not dressed in mufti as though ashamed of their ordination.  There is nothing “effeminate” in being properly dressed to offer the Mass. Unless one has no conception of what the Mass is.

    “I could not imagine these priests living and working among the constituency which it is my privilege to serve.”

    ## An N.O. priest should know that the vestments for Mass are not the same as those for pastoral work outside the offering of Mass.

  • Parasum

    We have no authority over the clergy as clergy – but as a certain Archbishop pointed out:

    “Two religions confront each other;
    we are in a dramatic situation and it is impossible to avoid a
    choice, but the choice is not between obedience and disobedience. 
    What is suggested to us, what we are expressly invited to do,
    what we are persecuted for not doing, is to choose an appearance
    of obedience. But even the Holy Father cannot ask us to abandon
    our faith.

    We therefore choose to keep it and
    we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught
    for two thousand years.  The crisis is profound, cleverly organized
    and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the
    master mind is not a man but Satan himself.  For it is a master-stroke
    of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in
    the name of obedience….”

    If we were more resolute on this
    subject, we would avoid coming to the point of gradually absorbing
    heresies. “”

    And that written when the Church was far less ruinous than she now is. Catholic bishops, the Pope especially, cannot tell Catholics to abandon Tradition, without losing theur own authority. Tradition is greater than any Pope, because it is the source of the Pope’s authority; much moree must other bishops. No bishop can order Catholics to repeat the denial by St.Peter.