Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reactions to the Motu Proprio (2)

As promised, I will share reactions to the MP following these Sunday Masses.

It has not been discussed - at all.

The local catholic press have given it very little airplay, but at least it did get on the front page of the Catholic Leader. However the journalistic flavour is a dead give away:

POPE REAFFIRMS LATIN.....but its not for the masses.

The article then gave the viewpoint of the National Liturgical Office executive director Fr Peter Williams (whom I do not know at all) which gave the usual guff about how it is just reaffirming that the previous edition of the Missal was never legally abrogated, and it is already allowed in many places. It then gives the viewpoint of Mrs Elizabeth Harrington of the Brisbane Liturgy Commission who I must admit gave a pretty fair assessment about it and the hope that it will bring the liturgy wars (some of which she started) to an end. However, I felt that the article was very fuzzy and not particularly positive. The emphasis seems to be on damage control, and giving the liturgical elites comfort that nothing is going to change. At face value, the headline, gives the view that yeah there is an MP but access to the 1962 Missal is going to be pretty limited and we are making sure that this happens no matter what the Pope might say.

The writeup in the Catholic Weekly was far more positive. The cover feature was the arrival of the WYD Cross and Icon in Sydney. However in the main part of the Weekly, the headlines trumpeted the return of the Tridentine Mass. Apart from the main news story there was also a one and a half page FAQs on the Missal of John XXIII and how it could be used in a pastoral sense. The coverage was far more comprehensive and balanced than the Catholic Leader.

This assessment was made after a quick look over the papers in the cathedral after Mass. Tomorrow I will get the papers and have a better look (didnt have any change on me today).

If the Catholic Leader claims to be the mouthpiece of the Brisbane Archdiocese, I am very disappointed at the attitude.


Summa Theologica said...

The front page report in the Catholic Leader you mentioned continues on page 3. I don't know if you got that far.

There Mrs Harrington expresses the one reservation she has. The allowance for Marriages, funerals and baptism to conducted in the old rite. Her reason is such occasions are good opportunity to reach out to non-regulars. What a lot of nonsense. I hardly think anyone is inspired by the mundane affairs they see on such occasions (once you take away everything that is unique to say, a wedding which). Doubly true if it's done in the atmosphere defined by the barn like "churches" they build nowadays.

Stephen said...

The use of the extraordinary usage for weddings, baptisms and funerals I think needs to be done sensitively. Done properly the extraordinary usage could be attractive, or if not done well or with little explanation, could put people off.

I remember reading that the fathers of the Council of Trent recommnended the use of a "commentator" to explain the rites to the people. How this could be done in a practical sense im not sure. I would have to ask some ppl I know in the Greek rites how the priests do these things to help people understand what is going on.

Summa Theologica said...

Most of what I hear with commentators is negative in practice. You have to put up with "and now Father is going to ..." in a kind of annoying way. I suppose it's how it's used. In an normal Mass setting it would be insulting to your intelligence. In more unusual circumstances and if its' well done quite possibly useful.

I think what is wrong with Elizabeth's comment is this. Let's say the Pope didn't allow this. Then imagine that you have grown up in the Classic Rite all your life and then get married. Your marriage ceremony includes a Mass that is nothing like what you associate with Mass (being a different rite after all). I think that would be sad. If it were not permitted at all then just think - even if both bride and groom have always attended (a likely possibility in the future!) then you can't have it. How sad.