Things are not all bad in the Church….. May 9, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Latin Mass, Liturgy, manhood, priests, sanctity, the struggle for the Church, Tradition, Virtue.
……something we should always keep in mind. The photo below of the Mass of Ascension Thursday taken at a parish in the Diocese of Madison, WI, illustrates the clear fact that more and more priests and lay people are being drawn to the Mass of the Ages in all its glory. Just a few years ago, the pastor of this parish did not know the TLM and did not offer it. Now he does so regularly, even while still offering the Novus Ordo. Gradually, however, the TLMs become more numerous and the NO’s less so. And this is an entirely diocesan priest.
There is another parish in St. Paul, MN, where the priest has transitioned, over the past several years, from entirely NO Mass to now predominately TLM. I believe there will come a time in the next few years when he will only offer the TLM – should his bishop permit that. The priest may well desire to offer all the Sacraments in the traditional rite at present, but he may be refused to do so by his bishop. Hard to say. It does seem true, however, that there are several bishops out there far more open to seeing diocesan parishes transition to the Traditional Mass predominately (if not entirely), and this without the involvement of an Ecclesia Dei community.
A happy contrast to the continuing sad persecution of Fr. Michael Rodriguez in the Diocese of El Paso, where not only the Novus Ordo was demanded by Bishop Seitz, but also versus poplum worship at all Masses and a prohibition on preaching on certain topics. There is still more I know or suspect regarding Fr.’s situation, but prudence and permission prevent me from sharing it.
I have known a handful of lay souls who have tried the TLM and rejected it in favor of the Novus Ordo, almost always, the most orthodox presentations of the NO available. Most of those only assisted at a TLM once or twice before deciding they didn’t like it, and also felt the other lay people attending were uppity or rude (see a counter point to that in the post-script at the bottom). I have known only 2 or 3 now who have left the TLM after assisting at it for many months or even years. Both of those folks left in a huff because they took offense at something the priest said in his sermon, which was nothing more than traditional Catholic belief/piety.
But contemplating this and the photo above made me wonder. Have their been many priests who came out of the NO environment, honestly started to learn and offer the TLM, and rejected it as “unsuited for the times” or deficient in comparison to the NO? Does anyone know of a case? I certainly have not. I know many older liberal priests who heap scorn on the TLM and simply reject it out of hand, but they would never bother to even assist at one, let alone learn to offer the traditional Mass. I’m talking about priests who actually invested the time and energy to learn the ancient rite. I don’t know any who found it wanting and dropped it, to the contrary, every single priest I know who has been sufficiently exposed to the TLM has found it wonderful as it completely transformed their understanding not only of the Mass but of the priesthood and the Faith itself. But maybe there have some who have stopped? Or maybe they were made to stop? Anyone know of any examples, without necessarily naming any names?
I think the responses will be slim to none. I don’t think there are many priests who have found the TLM who have rejected it. Now, they were probably predisposed to orthodoxy and comprehension of the enormous fruit present in the Mass of All Ages, BUT…….it’s still significant that thousands of priests carefully indoctrinated in the post-conciliar zeitgeist have not only embraced Tradition, but almost universally have found Tradition and Mass around which it revolves vastly superior to the manufactured on the spot product of the most recent Council. Of course, I would say that, as it happens to be my own opinion.
PS – I met a very nice young couple who started attending our local TLM parish a few months back. They had never assisted at the TLM before coming to Mater Dei. They, too, felt the people rude at Mass – why is everyone so quiet in the church, why don’t they talk like in the NO parishes, they must be so closed off and stuck up! They thought that, until they went to the social after Mass, and then realized that the other laity were not stuck up or rude, but simply being respectful and devout, and actually when in a social setting were nicer than most! I wonder how often it has happened that people who have assisted at the TLM but once or twice have written it off because they didn’t get the smiles, waves, back slaps, conversation, and general irreverence they are accustomed to in the NO Mass? Probably more than once or twice.
Having said all the above, I recognize how fragile this nascent restoration is. It is easily to foresee a chain of events by which the TLM would be declared fake abrogated again and forced underground. I know some fear SSPX normalization will make that chain of events more likely. I comprehend that fear quite clearly, but I can’t bring myself to conclude that the SSPX, the Ecclesia Dei communities, and the Church are best off under the current system of irregularity. Or can I?
Nah, I won’t be that selfish.