Why Roman Catholicism?

To those of you who consider yourselves traditional Latin Catholics: why do you remain Roman Catholic rather than Eastern Catholic, or even wholly apart from Catholicism altogether- Orthodox?

I’m not asking this to incite people. This is just a topic my husband and I have been discussing due to our frustration with attending “ding a ling” Mass after ding a ling Mass (what DH’s late grandfather termed post-V2 Masses with folky type music). We have moved several times in just a couple of years, and every single parish is lax in reverence and heavy on the tambourines.

Obviously, in bigger cities, there is usually at least one church that offers one Tridentine Mass or Latin Mass time… But it’s frustrating to have to specifically seek it out. And it’s frustrating, when one lives far from a big city (as we do currently), to have to travel more than an hour to go to Mass.

Anyway, for me personally, over time (and not just because of the reverence issue)- I’ve been called East and ignored it. I stumbled across this blog post: journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/05/10/from-catholic-to-orthodox/ and wondered if anyone here can comment on this particular quote:

“I came to Orthodoxy from Catholicism partially because of its unchanged liturgy; because the Orthodox Church, in its wisdom, never embarked on a path of liturgical self-destruction. It was not enough for me to attend the Traditional Catholic Latin Mass once a month when the bulk of the Catholic Church remains in the Novus Ordo camp. Even while attending the TLM at beautiful Saint Paul’s church in South Philadelphia, one could not escape the reality that this Mass was a minority Mass, primarily a footnote to the Novus Ordo.”

Because I’m really feeling it to be true.

I’m growing tired of singing that folky version of Lamb of God “LAAAAAAAAMB of God! you take away the siiiiiiiins, of the world! Have meeeeeeercy on us!” Instead of a simple, beautiful, Agnus Dei. You know?

Okay, so this discussion will be a start.

(but as an aside, I’ve realized recently that my DH and I are actually quite the minority in our traditionalism. Even his parents, who I’d always thought were pretty traditional- 6 kids, never miss Mass, the whole lot- are showing that they’re very much Novus Ordo… Recently their long time pastor retired and was replaced by a VERY traditional pastor. And all I hear now is my MIL complaining that “he makes us SING every thing. it’s ridiculous! I’m changing parishes!” OY.)

Also, apologies if I’ve confused any terms or angered anyone in my curiosity. I’m reverent at heart, but was raised in a highly dingaling parish :wink:

quod erat demonstrandum, i presume is in reference to your singing. if it were me, as long as i sang in my heart (ie felt joy or sorrow as it may be), i wouldn’t be too concerned if my vocalizations weren’t folksy (which they aren’t). personally, as a confirmed catholic and as an adult American, I set my motivation on receiving the consecrated host in a state of grace. as for listening and singing, i’ve heard it as a joke and don’t mean to inflict ill guided humor on you: but I’ve never met anyone who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

First, let’s not forget that the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, if done as it was originally intended, rivals the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. I lament that there are not many opportunities to attend the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite here in my home diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. The only EF Mass I can attend (that is a reasonable distance from where I live) is on the second Sunday of each month, but I would love there to be more opportunities to attend an EF Mass.

For the music, the argument I have heard many times that chant is old and outdated and the newer (folk-style) music is easier for the people to sing than chant is. This is probably due to the notation of (Gregorian) chant (with it’s 4 bars instead of the modern 5 bars) being seen as intimidating, even to seasoned musicians. If the folk-style music at Mass isn’t doing much good, you could do what I am doing. I am composing some Mass settings which are faithful to the text and are chant-based, but are composed using the modern style of music notation which everyone is familiar with. The disinterest in singing is probably a carry-over from the days when the EF was the only Roman Rite liturgy since most of the singing/chanting of the people’s parts were done by the servers and the choir (at High Mass) and the people kept silent.

I could never convince myself to fully jump ship from the Catholic Church into Orthodoxy. It just seems so fragmented for its own good and I would be in schism too. The Orthodox have had their own “liturgical struggles” in the past too (the Old Calendarists come to mind). I don’t think that the Ordinary Form liturgy had “a path of liturgical self-destruction” on its own. It was probably caused by a combination of the secular culture at the time of its beginning and the mis-interpretation of what was discussed at Vatican II (and catechesis of the laity wasn’t the best at the time).

Why have I not transferred over to any of the Eastern Rite churches? It is probably because I am too attached to the Roman Rite with its history and theology. The Eastern Rite churches have their own “version” of Christian theology. There is a Ruthenian (Byzantine) Catholic church in my area which I (a little more than) occasionally attend and I know the priest there well. I am a Roman Catholic, but I do incorporate Eastern Catholic theology and spirituality into my life as well. The Catholic Church, as a whole, can only prosper at a 100% rate if both the Eastern side and the Western side of Christianity are in union working towards the same goal…the salvation of souls.

Well I’ll say this, I would have become EO if their hadn’t been an EF available where I lived when I was received into the Church and even afterwards I’ve struggled between the two.

Forgive me for being prudish, but I take a little umbrage at the term “dingaling Mass”, but that could be just me. Whether the Mass is folksy or the High Mass, it is the celebration of the paschal mystery, and both forms are accepted by the Church. So I personally see both forms as equally beautiful in their own way. I’m not a fan of the folksy music, but it wouldn’t ever deter me from experiencing the beauty of the liturgy itself. :slight_smile: I mean, what really matters? The fact that they sang “Lamb of God” instead of “Agnus Dei”, or the fact that we are standing at the foot of our crucified Lord, fully present in the flesh? I’ll take being with our Lord, whether it is in English or Latin, with folksy music or with chant, with a strummed guitar or with a pipe organ.

Do I have preferences? Sure. :slight_smile: But my preferences haven’t ever really gotten in the way of the Mass experience for me. I just feel extra lucky and blessed when I get to attend a Mass that meets my tastes. :smiley:

All roads lead to Rome!:rolleyes:

:thumbsup:

I’m not a fan of “folksy” music or tambourines, but I try not to let it bother me when it is present. Truly, I can probably count on both hands the number of times I’ve been to a Mass where the music has been to my taste. Since I’m not musically inclined enough to offer my services, I just let it go.

I cannot see leaving Catholicism for Orthodoxy because the exterior trappings of the Mass are not to my taste. I believe in the primacy of the Pope. How could I leave?

I can’t say this has ever crossed my mind. There are aspects of a mass (music included) that I have preferred in one church instead of another but in the long run…I don’t think it makes an awful lot of difference. The core objective of the mass is the same ,just a different presentation of the same message.

I sympathize with your musical preferences, but the Mass is not about the music. It is about Christ and his teachings. I respect the Eastern Orthodox Churches but to leave the Catholic Church for for a Church not in Communion with the Universal Church would be very grave matter. Today when there are many thousands of Christian groups it is easy to forget that Schism was always considered one of the most serious sins. There is certainly nothing traditional about schism.

Orthodox is simply a schismatic part of the Catholic Church. If we would turn our back on whichever Catholic Rite we belong to and become Orthodox we would be committing a mortal sin and be guilty of heresy. Why - because the Pope as head of the Church is an infallible teaching and to reject an infallible teaching is heresy.

It is gravely sinful to knowingly join a schismatic sect. Your frustrations are understandable, but at the end of the day the Orthodox insist on staying separated from the Church of Rome. How can you get around this fact?

Because the Church in an Orthodox format (eastern practices before the schism) existed before the establishment of the see of Rome and claims to papal authority?

Would be my first thoughts on it, and I don’t think it matters. The Catholic church accuses Orthodox of being heretical, well they think we’re heretics too. It’s a position that’s never going to get anywhere this way, and seems pointless from the outset.

I am Catholic because communion with Peter is normatively necessary for salvation and I am not prepared to jeopardize my salvation out of spite for current ecclesial trends in liturgy and sacred music, however banal and alienating I find them to be. I am moreover Catholic because the Orthodox understanding of itself is inherently circular. If you ask an Orthodox what it means to be Orthodox, he will respond that it means to hold the Orthodox faith; if you ask what the Orthodox faith is, he will tell you it is what is held by the Orthodox Church. The circular logic is held by heretics of various sorts, all of whom use it to exclude one another. Catholicism on the other hand has an objective “test” of sorts – the faith of Peter.

I am Roman Catholic specifically because, while I have no qualms with the Eastern liturgies, they are not my cultural patrimony, and I don’t believe that the reality of cultural patrimony is such that it can be repudiated by a simple canonical process. I am Roman rite whether I like it or not. Moreover in my experience the Eastern liturgical rites are not free of the taint of modernity either; the Maronite parish a few towns over uses the same OCP hymnal we do, and the Byzantine parish I’ve been to a few times several hours from here had people sitting cross-legged on the floor around the sanctuary.

Although I see your first paragraph as flawed, it is beside the point. No need to argue.

I did not say heretical, I said schismatic. Please don’t put words in my mouth. It would seem to me that the Orthodox would agree that there is a schism between the Church of Rome and themselves, would they not?

I would agree they do yes, to my knowledge this being due to religious practice (some of which are now outdated, others still relevant), and primarily the claim to papal supremacy (and later infallibility).

Heretical…Schismatic, sorry if it caused any offense, it wasn’t intended :). Its the same thing with equally negative connotations to me, they have deemed our practices to be so intristically flawed and incorrect it was worthy of parting ways as the Church of Rome has likewise judged them. In other words, heresy, which in turn makes the devotee of the other side a heretic.

I.E: As a side note…I don’t consider Orthodoxy sinful :shrug:

True, it sounds quite inappropriate. Not to mention that Chuck Berry song… :smiley:

Whether the Mass is folksy or the High Mass, it is the celebration of the paschal mystery, and both forms are accepted by the Church. So I personally see both forms as equally beautiful in their own way. I’m not a fan of the folksy music, but it wouldn’t ever deter me from experiencing the beauty of the liturgy itself. :slight_smile: I mean, what really matters? The fact that they sang “Lamb of God” instead of “Agnus Dei”, or the fact that we are standing at the foot of our crucified Lord, fully present in the flesh? I’ll take being with our Lord, whether it is in English or Latin, with folksy music or with chant, with a strummed guitar or with a pipe organ.

Amen to that. :thumbsup: A Mass is a Mass. A poor sermon, or a “poppy” song, though distracting, should be viewed as opportunities to cultivate patience. :smiley:

Do I have preferences? Sure. :slight_smile: But my preferences haven’t ever really gotten in the way of the Mass experience for me. I just feel extra lucky and blessed when I get to attend a Mass that meets my tastes. :smiley:

Same here (though my major gripe isn’t with folky songs, since I play acoustic guitar myself; it’s the “disco-pop” songs I have trouble swallowing.) :slight_smile:

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