Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pope Francis: "Old Mass? Just a kind of fashion ..."

Rorate ran a post today comparing recent remarks by Pope Francis about the "old Mass" with those of Pope Benedict XVI. Speaking to the Bishops of the Czech Republic during their recent ad limina visit, Pope Francis said (according to Archbishop Jan Graubner who was present):
... he cannot understand the younger generation wishing to return to it [the ancient liturgy]. “When I search more thoroughly" – the Pope said – "I find that it [the ancient liturgy] is rather a kind of fashion. And if it is a fashion, therefore it is a matter that does not need that much attention. It is just necessary to show some patience and kindness to people who are addicted to a certain fashion. But I consider greatly important to go deep into things, because if we do not go deep, no liturgical form, this or that one, can save us.“
One commentator responds bluntly:
“Search more thoroughly ...” Really?

I wonder exactly where this thorough search took place. If it was in His Holiness’ former See, the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, perhaps that’s the problem.

Had he visited and searched a different diocese, you know… one with a healthy liturgical life wherein the traditional Mass is routinely made available to the faithful, he would have discovered what most everyone reading this blog already knows:

The devotion of the younger generation to the traditional Mass has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion; it has to do with a deep seated desire for authentic Catholic worship, unencumbered by anthropocentrism, protestantism and modernism.

As a matter of fact, Pope Francis has it exactly backwards.

The less-than-fifty year old rite invented by the Consilium and mercilessly inflicted upon the Church by Pope Paul VI, that is merely a fashion, and a passing one at that.

If the witness of the last eleven months tells us anything at all about this pope, it’s that he has no interest whatsoever in taking on the “smell of traditional Catholic sheep.”
Rorate then remarks:
... Under seven years ago, the opinion of the then-reigning and still living Holy Father (one who was much more acquainted with the issue at hand) was quite different:
Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist ... . ... What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. (Benedict XVI, July 7, 2007 Letter to Bishops)


Ralph Roister-Doister said...

The NO may be many things, but it is nothing if not jejune and relentlessly superficial. These two words are of its essence. To search for depth in it is perverse and foolhardy. The NO shuns such things.

This papacy is grimly determined to bequeath to us a religion of Jejunity. That will never go over with youth.

It may not be that young people are entranced with the TLM in a special way. It may be that they are looking for relief from the spiritual barreness which titillates their leaders, and which their leaders so perversely and relentlessly force upon them. Gregory Peck was "the Man in the Gray Flannel Suit," a movie about the blight of corporate secularism: Francis is the pope who, in the midst of gray flannel secularism, can offer us only the blight of a gray flannel liturgy.

The TLM is all any of us have that is profound and pure.

Given the iniquitous things that bored and dissatisfied children can fall in with, Francis ought to be tickled pink that they find relief in the TLM. After all, it could be wicca, or scientology, or plain old secularism -- as it has been for so many pewsitters since V2. Instead, Pope Sockwasher is "puzzled." Such remarks from a man who proposes himself as the epitome of Catholic leadership turns the heart to pig iron.

JM said...

What is surprising is how out of touch the comments seem. Truthfully, like many others I have had to get PAST what is for me the uncomfortable "fashion" of the older Mass since I appreciate its sharply focused way of framing Catholic doctrine. The Norvus Ordu, however legit, is most everywhere administered in a way that makes it seem like a community center Moravian lovefest. And "fashion"? How else do you account for guitar praise bands if not with something like that?

I do think it is unfair to protest to loudly over any individual report. But what frustrates is the apparent lack of respect for the Traditionalist movement, which is nothing if it is not a stripe of faithful Catholicism.

Bornacatholic said...

Those in favor of the earlier form of the same Roman Rite ought not to get too excited:

About, Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI averred ...this Motu Proprio is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy, who love it, are familiar with it and want to live with this liturgy.

Again, Pope Benedict XVI:

The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often

Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.

There is no oxygen at the level of unreal expectations held by the soi disant trads

Sheldon said...

"... this Motu Proprio is merely an act of tolerance, with a pastoral aim, for those people who were brought up with this liturgy ..."

Benedict, however, also later acknowledged that contrary to widespread expectations, a significant percentage of those frequenting the TLM are young people without any personal experience of the pre-Conciliar era TLM.

"... the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite ..."

Sure, although this does nothing to address the legitimate criticisms that even Cardinal Ratzinger made against the New Mass, when he called it a "banal, on-the spot fabrication"
by liturgical committees, not to mention his critique of the the "closed circle" created by the priest facing the people and with his ass toward God, Ralph's spot-on description of the Novus Ordo as a "jujune" liturgy, or IANS' own previous description of it as the "Li'l Licit Ligurgy."

It may be conceded that the ORDINARY form of the Roman Rite is valid and licit, but it's a debatable point whether it can by any stretch of the imagination be called "authentic," in the sense of standing in unbroken continuity with liturgical tradition, and one needn't look far beyond Ratzinger's own writings to show this.

Scott W. said...

One has come up with a song for it: