News Article- Tridentine Mass: Pope looks for bridge to tradition

Here is an interesting article we can discuss:

Tridentine Mass: Pope looks for bridge to tradition.

Here are some excerpts I wish to highlight,

From the outside, allowing the old Mass has been seen primarily as a concession to the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who was excommunicated in 1988 for his intransigence on liturgical and other reforms of Vatican II.

But some Vatican officials believe that aspect has been overblown. More than making peace with Archbishop Lefebvre’s followers, they said, the pope is trying to make peace with the church’s own tradition.

One big clue to the pope’s thinking came in his 1997 book, titled “Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977” and written when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, in which he sharply criticized the drastic manner in which Pope Paul VI reformed the Mass in 1969.

In effect, he said, “the old building was demolished” and a new one put in its place. Thus the liturgy ceased to be a living development and was treated as something manufactured by experts, which has caused the church “enormous harm,” he said.

Over the years, he has sharply criticized what he sees as a tendency for the worshiping community to celebrate only itself.

Hey, Caesar, can I highlight some stuff from the article, too? Because you just linked me to my new favorite article/site?

Something tells me we will be somewhat disappointed when the “verdict” comes in.

But then, maybe our expectations were set too high. That’s life, I guess.

Go ahead.

No, laddie, I won’t. I’ll just say that if the article is right, we’re going to get a good balance, never fear. The Holy Father knows what he’s doing. We should pray for him.

Here, chew on this one for a while.


St. John Eudes explains that the most terrible chastisement God can send to His people are bad priests (that obviously includes bad bishops, Cardinals and, indeed, even a Pope). Here is what St. John Eudes says:
"The most evident mark of God’s anger and the most terrible castigation He can inflict upon the world are manifested when He permits His people to fall into the hands of clergy who are priests more in name than in deed, priests who practice the cruelty of ravening wolves rather than charity and affection of devoted shepherds …
"When God permits such things, it is a very positive proof that He is thoroughly angry with His people, and is visiting His most dreadful anger upon them. That is why He cries unceasingly to Christians, ‘Return O ye revolting children … and I will give you pastors according to My own heart’ (Jer. 3:14,15). Thus, irregularities in the lives of priests constitute a scourge upon the people in consequence of sin."
Saint John Eudes, The Priest: His Dignity and Obligations, (New York: P.J. Kennedy & Sons, 1947) pp. 9-10.

I think this is an excellent article. For what is worth, I agree with the Pope’s comments and viewpoint. (As if he needs my approval!) I am only in my mid-40’s and the “transitional Mass” between the total Latin Mass and pure venacular is just at the edge of my memory. The overwhelming number of my memories have to do with the current Mass. Consequently, I do not grow up with the TLM. I have since then attended several TLM Masses. They are beautiful, reverent and awe inspiring. The effect was heightened by the beauty of the church. Even my 14 year old son was amazed and attended with eyes the size of saucers. It is a great loss that a lot of that was replaced with a lot of , doubtlessly well-intentioned, banality. With that said, I did have some observations that maybe some of the other posters can help me with. Why do the readings in Latin and then re-read them in English? Why is the Consecration inaudible? (although I think the image of the priest facing the same way as the congregation and leading the prayers is wonderful) Why are so many embroiled in private prayers and devotions instead of paying attention?

One has to wonder what the Mass would look like if the emphasis was on letting the liturgy naturally evolve and change instead of supplanting it wholesale with the Mass of Pope Paul. I suspect that there is an intelligent half way point between what was for 400 years and what we have now. One sees the wisdom of the Pope not wanting to “had a victory” to one side or the other. We are one Church, not “modern Catholics” nor “traditional Catholics.” One of the Pope’s titles is Pontifex Maximus or “Supreme Bridge-builder.” (in a metaphorical sense) I think it is great that he is acting in the spirit of this title and fulfilling this role.

One of the problems was that Trent had tried to standardise everything, to answer Protestant accusations of laxity, and also to guard against a repetition of Luther arising from the clergy. So the rule was “not the tiniest detail may be changed”. That meant that the Tridentine Mass could not change organically.

However Vatican II did reflect the 60s mania for eliminating everything old-fashioned and pressing bravely on with a new world. The sixties were also the high point of state power, when it was believed that experts had the solution to every problem. We are all much wiser now.

As you say, I am sure there is a happy medium between aggressive modernism and pure conservatism for its own sake. However it is much more difficult to say what it is. Two rival rites is no long-term answer.

A hint at what we are supposed to have done wrong would not go amiss :rolleyes:

This sounds too like the nonsense about AIDS being a “gay plague” - when it hit people who were not gay, the description ceased to seem appropriate. Maybe He was so miffed, that His aim suffered.

Why didn’t he go after Hitler ? He let him carry on for years, & many others. Be that as it may, this explanation makes God sound like a thoroughly foul-tempered old bully, the kind who kicks the cat or beats the children to relieve his pent-up aggression.

If he doesn’t like the bishops - why doesn’t he snuff them out ? :rolleyes: It’s God Who has power to kill - not us

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