Thursday, October 21, 2021

"Costa Rican bishop suspends priest for saying Ordinary Form Mass in Latin and ad orientem"

As Fr. Joseph Fession, S.J., asks in the Editor's column in the Ignatius Press catalog, "How's that for a headline?" (Here's the CNA report.) Fessio, founding editor of Ignatius Press, goes on to observe that the Costa Rican bishop (and bishops -- see below) are "either not serious Catholics or terribly ignorant." What does he mean?
The 'typical edition" or primary and original text of the Mass -- whether in the "Ordinary" or "Extraordinary" form is Latin. And celebrating "facing East" or "facing the Lord" is not only a legitimate option, it is presupposed by the Roman Missal (both in Latin and in its official English translation). Otherwise why, if the celebrant is already facing the people, would the rubrics instruct him to face the people at the "Pray, brethren" ("Orate fratres")?
Fessio continues:
Why would a bishop do something like this? There's a major clue in a statement by the bishops' conference that "the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962 or any other of the expressions of the liturgy prior to 1970 is no longer authorized," including "prayers, vestments or rites" associated with the pre-1970 missal (Fessio's emphasis).

Do they really know what they are saying? "Prayers," like the Collects that have been used since the earliest centuries? or like Euchaistic Prayer I (the Roman Canon)? "Vestments," like, say, and alb or stole? "Rites," such as the "Lord, have mercy" in the Introductory Rite?
Gestures like those of the Costa Rican bishop give bishops a bad name. They give the impression that our spiritual shepherds have no love for Catholic traditions that have been the spiritual nourishment of Catholics from the earliest years of the Church. They give the impression of pitiful ignorance of Church history any time before 1970 and even of the rubrics of the Novus Ordo Missae implimented under Pope Paul VI in 1970. Catholicism is nothing if not traditional (1 Cor 15:3). There is no future in the shallow puddle of historically-oblivious Catholicism.