Here are some of the initial replies to Tracey Rowland [advisory: the give and take can be somewhat brutal]. But watch the video and respond for yourself. I had to laugh at the comment about "funny clothes," which (like the "aestheticism" remark) belongs in my opinion on the other foot, the one with the sneakers or flip-flops tapping out the beat of the Praise Band. But maybe that's just me.
- Joseph Shaw, "Reply to Tracey Rowland" (LMS Chairman, July 13, 2013).
- Fr. Gary Dickson, "Yet Another Reply To Tracey Rowland" (Rorate Caeli, July 14, 2013).
The first thing which strikes me is that the first two criticisms are pulling in different directions. What she is saying, essentially, in the first is that EF-goers are too middle class. They are educated, articulate, can detect 'buff notes', and like talking about it after Mass. The sort of people, in short, who might be friends of Tracey, and might accompany her to Mass or talk to her afterwards. Or who might turn up to a one-off special occasion Mass in a Cathedral with a special choir and so on. Perhaps this is the only kind of EF the great Professor has made it to.See also Fr. Dickson's remarks linked above.
In the second criticism, she is saying that EF-goers are not middle class enough. They are the sort of people who take the obligation to dress modestly more seriously than the demands of the modern fashion industry .... Rowland's second criticism could be described as social, or moral (because those trads take morality too seriously - shame on them!), but above all it is aesthetic. Professor Rowland thinks it is wrong to criticise a professional choir for fluffing Lassus, but quite appropriate - indeed, a good thing - to criticise a Catholic mother for not having enough money to get the latest dress.
What of the last point? ... She is annoyed that too many people attending the EF don't agree with her take on Vatican II.... Like the people criticised in the second point, the people she is talking about now do not just 'love the EF because it is beautiful'. It is hard to resist the idea that Rowland thinks that it would be better if they did. Their crime is to ponder the implications of the Catholic Faith which are so eloquently represented by the Traditional Liturgy, and to allow those implications to transform their lives and their thinking about a range of issues. If only, she seems to be saying, if only they were more superficially interested in the liturgy, if they just popped in and out of different kinds of Mass for a bit of 'enrichment' without thinking too hard about the theological issues this variety raises. Pope Benedict, of course, is a prime example of someone who doesn't just enjoy the variety of Masses facing the people or facing East, people kneeling for Communion or standing, and so on, but has to spoil the 'enrichment' by pointing out that there are serious theological problems with the usual OF practice, and insofar as that can be blamed on the Spirit of the Council, too bad for the Spirit of the Council.
Update: "Final reply to Tracey Rowland, by the Melbourne Latin Mass Chaplain" (Rorate Caeli, July 16, 2013): "A definitive reply to Rowland's remarks, by Fr. Glen Tattersall (comment to previous post)":
Dr Rowland is Dean of the John Paul II Institute in Melbourne. She is a person of some prominence in the Church in Australia.[Hat tip to JM]
As chaplain for those Catholics in Melbourne attached to the Extraordinary Form, I feel compelled to offer the following observations, given that Dr Rowland claims to speak from experience:
1. Dr Rowland rarely attends Mass in the Extraordinary Form in Melbourne - I can recall having seen her once at Mass (a Low Mass on a weekday) in the last two years;
2. I do not recognise as present among the Catholic Faithful I am privileged to serve any of the problems she alleges in her interview.
Fr Glen Tattersall Senior Chaplain, Catholic Community of Bl. John Henry Newman [Arch. of Melbourne, Victoria]