It’s time for my first post … Lord, have mercy.
I’ve been reading a lot of material, here and elsewhere, about the relative merits of the Tridentine Mass versus the Novus Ordo Missae, and between Mass in Latin vs. Mass in English - some quite scholarly, some purely polemic. It occured to me that this was yet another case in which Blessed John Henry Newman could be of help. In his Apologia Pro Vita Sua (if I remember correctly), Newman introduces the idea of “the Catholic AND.” During his examination of Catholicism, he discovered that Protestant thought is often expressed in terms of “either/or” - either Faith OR Works, either Scripture OR Tradition. On the other hand, Catholic thought is expressed in terms of “both/and” - Faith AND Works, Scripture AND Tradition. I’m wondering if the same “Catholic AND” could be applied to this controversy as
Here’s my trial balloon: Both Latin AND the vernacular are NECESSARY for a fuller understanding of the dual nature of our Lord. Latin emphasizes the majesty of His divinity, English emphasizes the humility of His humanity. Ideally (…I know, I know…), Latin Mass could be offered on Feast days and Solemnities as well as Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter; during Ordinary Time, Mass would be exclusively in English. Perhaps Latin Mass could be the first offering on Sunday morning, because those folks who as enthused about Latin would be the most willing to get to early Mass on time.
Several sensible people have noted that this would require a substantial amount of catechesis, something which is sorely deficient in the Church in the United States. Also, so few priests are able to celebrate Mass in Latin (willingness is another matter) that this is an admittedly theoretical exercise. My pastor celebrated Mass in Latin on All Souls Day and, as “traditional” as he is, his Latin pronunciation needed more practice. Even so, he did a good job as he always does, and I hope he will offer Mass in Latin more often.
On the issue of TLM or NO: when our Holy Father celebrates Mass, which one does he use? Pope John Paul II is a man of the Council, and he uses the Mass of Paul VI. Sorry … I agree that the Tridentine Mass is glorious, but if the Novus Ordo is good enough for John Paul the Great, it’s good enough for me. I understand Patrick Madrid has a new book out on our schismatic betheren called “Holier than the Pope” - it may be worth seeking out. Even Fr. Peter Stravinskas, an advocate for Mass in Latin, has stated that the Tridentine Mass was in serious need of revision, and he has never celebrated the old Mass.
O.K., friends, you can start shooting now …