Sunday, July 8, 2007

Motu Proprio - Summorum Pontificum - in the News

I'm very limited on time, but will offer you some links to other resources. The local Detroit News and Free Press Sunday paper had what amounted to a paragraph buried somewhere quite deep.

"Latin Mass" in Google News search

Select titles:

Reuters: Pope Revives old Latin Mass, sparks Jewish Concern (Note: Fr. Z is named in this article)

New York Times: Pope Eases Restrictions on [older form of ] Latin Mass

Independent Catholic News: Moto Proprio: Bishops of England and Wales welcome Pope's call for unity

The Australian: Pope Strikes Chord with Old Faithful

Chigaco Tribune: Will Return to Latin have Mass Appeal? (Exerpt with my emphases and comments) . Ok - I'm short on time, but could not resist this small segment from the article...

At St. John Cantius in Chicago last Sunday, hundreds of Catholic families celebrated the Tridentine Latin mass, filling the church with operatic echoes of faith. Phyllis Virgil, 49, who travels from Elmhurst, said she started attending after her mother gave her an old missal blessed by Pope Pius XII.

She acknowledges that she thought it was old-fashioned and difficult to understand at first. But, after a few times, Virgil said, she felt the mass brought her closer to God.
[I think this is common and is similar to my own experience with the traditional form of the Latin Novus Ordo as celebrated at Grotto. Ultimately, in the stillness and silence, we discover God in the Mass and that is the point.]

"My heart just soars when I hear it," Virgil said. "The prayers are so beautiful, and everyone is so reverent during the service, even the children. At several points, there is so much silence. The pace is slower, so you're praying at a pace that helps you better contemplate God." [Bingo! There are three forms of prayer: Vocal, meditative, and contemplative or mental. The traditional form of the Roman Rite is indeed conducive to meditation, and contemplation. It takes us out of a horizontal dimension and propels us into a more vertical dimension, and one in which we not only sense the worship of God with one another, but with all of heaven and earth.]

Rev. Thomas Reese, senior fellow of the Woodstock Theological Center [if that isn't an oxymoron: Woodstock and Theological Center] at Georgetown University, predicted the document would have greater impact in European countries where local bishops have rejected calls to offer the Latin mass. [Reese is among a supply of hippy-era priests, with hippy-era "catholic" spin. That supply includes Andrew Greeley and Richard McBrien whom I would not be suprised to see quoted in the coming days and weeks. Is it possible for the mainstream media to find priests who have the mind of the Church? How about a interviewing a couple of solid Catholic Jesuits: Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ or Fr. Joseph Fessio, SJ. Or other fine priests like Fr. Michael Orsi, or Fr. John McCloskey??]

In the United States, Reese said, more widespread celebration of the Latin mass is likely to appeal to senior citizens who recall the mass from their childhood, as well as a new generation of conservative young people, who Reese believes have become enamored by Latin for the wrong reasons. [And, Fr. Reese has the wrong idea of why people enjoy the Latin. Perhaps if translations hadn't been so dumbed-down, we wouldn't enjoy the truer translations on the facing pages of missals. As for this middle-aged Catholic interested in Latin, I truly want to read the Catholic classics in Latin - such as those written by Augustine, and I want to learn Latin to hear the Mass with my soul. The language is pleasing to the ears. The difference bewteen this generation and previous generations is that our interest in learning the language can be readily fulfilled if given the opportunity. Help us to understand it during the Mass if we request it. Perhaps our parishes and diocese will provide us with opportunities to learn. Latin, when open to the public, is often only offered at times difficult for working class Catholics to sign up, which must change.]

"The mystery of the Eucharist is not that it's in Latin," Reese said [no kidding!?!]. "The mystery is the death and resurrection of Jesus that's being celebrated here. [eh-hmmm, how about the Sacrifice?] To have the mysteriousness of Latin blocking you from seeing the true mystery is one of the reasons we went to [really dumbed-down] English." [which dumbs down our understanding of this great Mystery].

Check these blogs for more on the motu proprio (the first two links will truly give you your fill, along with reading the comment boxes. Each has many posts on this topic):

What Does the Prayer Really Say? (Fr. Z)

New Liturgical Movement (NLM)

The Hermeneutic of Continuity (Fr. Tim Finigan - see his motu proprio celebration pics)

Rorate Caeli

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