I have deleted a long comment by my friend Jamie Bogle defending the Extraordinary Form of Mass–the Mass of Blessed John XXIII.

I have done so for several reasons. First of all, comment boxes are for just that: comments. They are not the places to conduct long online debates. The place to do this online is in a chat forum. To leave long arguments in comboxes is internet bad manners. If you have a point to make start your own blog. The reason long arguments for single causes in other people’s blogs is bad manners is because you are using their soapbox not your own. It is also bad manners in the way that it is bad manners to go on and on and on about your particular passion at a dinner party. It’s boring and rude to others.

Jamie complained that I had deleted his comments in an earlier thread on the Latin Mass. They were deleted for the same reason. Not because they were badly argued or because I refused to agree with the arguments, but simply because they were too long for a comment box.

Jamie was also unhappy that I stopped the debate on my blog about the Latin Mass with a simple summary of the arguments and an expression of my own about what I appreciated about the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I was charged with censorship and quashing freedom of expression.

I’ve got not problems with those who like the Latin Mass, and wish them and their cause every blessing. Jamie’s got some great facts and arguments to make for his side, and if any readers would like to read them I encourage you to read Jamie’s blog. It’s called Roman Christendom. I checked it out last night, but can’t seem to track it down this morning to provide a link.

If it re-appears in the blogosphere I’ll call it to your attention.

Update: I made a mistake. The blog ‘Roman Christendom’ sounds like Jamie Bogle, even to the extent that some of the content is the same as the comments he has posted on my blog. But don’t be mistaken. This anonymous blog is not by Jamie Bogle. It is by his ‘friend’.

I’ve deleted two more comments on this post from Jamie as their tone was insulting, and arrogant. I’m trying real hard to remain objective, cheerful and positive in the face of attacks that are senseless and weird. Despite my attempts to give those who argue for the Extraordinary Mass of Blessed John XXIII the benefit of the doubt I keep getting long rants posted on my blog. This is all the more strange, because in the larger perspective the attacks are by people who are on the same side as me.

My advice is this: if you really have nothing better to do, and are genuinely interested to read Jamie’s attacks on me personally, and all the arguments in support of the Latin Mass check out Jamie’s friend’s blog: http://romanchristendom.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous

    If we all had the New rite of the Mass celebrated as it is in Greenville no one would be complaining….but we don’t…That is why we are asking for the Latin Mass. We want beauty and reverence back!

  • i would have been interested in seeing someone standing up for the ordinary Mass. Like you i don’t have a problem with the Latin but neither do i with a reverent novus ordo…

  • Anonymous

    Father, no one in the blogosphere seems to be commented on the appointment of our Bishop, Robert Baker, to the Diocese of Birmingham, AL. Such a loss for SC, and such a gain for Birmingham! Have you any thoughts?

  • Anonymous

    OOPs, I got it wrong just now! Amy Welborn does comment today on her new blog, and husband Michael Dubriel on his blog as well. They obviously respect Bishop Baker as much as I!Jenny

  • I’m gonna have to respectfully disagree. I’ve learned a ton from long-winded arguments in comments threads. Long comments don’t hurt the appearance of the main page, they make a blog more interesting, and they help create a good amount of discussion.I spend (lol) too much time online, and I’d rather see long, well-written arguments in a comments thread than the stupid drivel that you usually see in comments. Long comments are far from rude – if anything, they show a large amount of respect for your blog and for what you write.

  • On one hand, you don’t want guys writing independent essays in your comments. On the other hand, you certainly don’t want to start policing comments based upon mere length.Some of the greatest threads in memory around St. Blogs have involved very long responses, and those tend to be the ones that hold the imagination.Mrs. Jackie Parkes echoes my sentiment on this one as well: a person defending the ordinary might be welcome 🙂

  • The ‘Roman Christendom’ blog is to be found at http://romanchristendom.blogspot.com

  • Here, here! I agree with you! Right on.

  • “If we all had the New rite of the Mass celebrated as it is in Greenville no one would be complaining….but we don’t…That is why we are asking for the Latin Mass. We want beauty and reverence back!”So not so. It is not simply about beauty and reverence. It is about the Faith. By the way, nearly 250 Upstate, SC Catholics attended the Assumption Mass in the extraordinary form at Prince of Peace in Taylors yesterday. Quite an extraordinary spectacle.

  • Anonymous

    Question to Brian: How did Prince of Peace in Taylors come to do the extraordinary form yesterday, do you know? Do they “ordinarily” offer the extraordinary? Thanks

  • Prince of Peace has offered the extraordinary-grace-filled form/usage for about 5 years now at various times and intervals. Monthly, twice-per-month, weekly, now monthly on Sundays, but weekly on Wednesdays.Holy Day Mass yesterday was at noon.Nearly 250 attended.

  • Dear Brian, what do you mean by the phrase ‘extraordinary grace filled form/usage’?By saying the Mass of Blessed John XXIII is ‘grace filled’ are you implying that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is not ‘grace filled’?

  • Fr. Longenecker said: Dear Brian, what do you mean by the phrase ‘extraordinary grace filled form/usage’?By saying the Mass of Blessed John XXIII is ‘grace filled’ are you implying that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is not ‘grace filled’? Dear Father Longenecker, as is evident in my post, I made absolutely no commentary whatsoever on the quite ordinary form of the Mass and therefore made absolutely no comment on whether or not it is “grace filled.”To imply that I meant something negative about the quite ordinary form of Holy Mass when my comment was entirely on the quite extraordinary usage/form of Holy Mass, is of course a logical fallacy.The Pope quite clearly in Summorum Pontificum meant to disparage neither form/usage of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by using the terms “ordinary” or “extraordinary.”May priests allow the “extraordinary” usage/form of Holy Mass to blossom as abundantly as the use of “extraodinary” ministers of Holy Communion has throughout the Latin-rite Church, of which there is only one rite, with two forms.Most of all, may this continued language of “priests celebrating Mass, whichever rite, reverently” once and for all also be extinguished from our vocabularies.It is not about what the Priest does with the Mass. It what the Mass does to transform us and the priest.The Mass is not about the Priest and his “solemnity,” “reverence” or clever sermons or homilies. It is about the sacrifice of Calvary.It is about the Faith. But of course you know that, Fr. Longenecker.

  • Thank you for the clarification Brian. It’s good to hear that this was not what you are implying and that we can therefore conclude that you believe the Ordinary Form of Mass is not only ‘grace filled’ but fully expresses and communicates the faith just as much as the Mass of Blessed John XXIII.

  • Fr. Longenecker said: “Thank you for the clarification Brian. It’s good to hear that this was not what you are implying and that we can therefore conclude that you believe the Ordinary Form of Mass is not only ‘grace filled’ but fully expresses and communicates the faith just as much as the Mass of Blessed John XXIII.”Dear Father Longenecker, I hate to beat a dead horse, but for some reason, the plain and clear words that I affirm continue to taken on new avenues.I did not in any way, shape or form affirm what you attributed to me above.If you would like to have a private conversation on the article of Faith and Morals and liturgy required to be a practicing Catholic in good standing, I am more than up for that.However, I do not think that making articles of Faith (as if I, or anyone else for that matter, has to affirm as being an orthodox Catholic that the Novus Ordo missae expressed the Faith as well as the Mass of Pope St. Pius V)things that are within the realm of disagreement, if need be, is helpful at all.I in no way, shape or form, affirm what you attributed to me in the last post. I affirm what I have written.If we must make a public profession of Faith, I will begin with the Athanasian Creed, the Credo of the Council of Trent and the Credo of the People of God.How about you?

  • Brian, I’m getting confused.It’s quite simple isn’t it? The Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Mass are both either ‘grace filled’ and fully expressive of the Catholic faith or they are not.I thought you were saying they were. Now it seems you are saying they are not. So which is it? Are you really saying, after all, what I thought you implied in your first post that you think the Ordinary Form is not grace filled and expressive of the fullness of the Catholic Faith?There can only be two options: either you believe the Ordinary Form is ‘grace filled’ and expressive of the fullness of the Catholic faith or you think it is defective. If you think it is defective how does this sit with the recent moto proprio which actually makes the Novus Ordo the ordinary form? Do you disagree with the Pope on this matter, or did I misunderstand the Holy Father?

  • I do not affirm your last two posts. This was exhaustively detailed by many others, especially Shawn Tribe, much better than I could do, in your previous post questioning about the Traditional Latin Mass.My analysis coincides with the current pope’s when he calls it a “banal” rite. He also has said many other theologically critical items about the Novus Ordo.Cardinals Ottaviani and Bacci summarize my thoughts on the Novus Ordo.http://www.fisheaters.com/ottavianiintervention.htmlAs far as your question about “grace-filled,” I guess I will undergo this equivalent to the Inquisition since this is your blog.Some Novus Ordo masses are more grace-filled than others. Many of them are illicit. Many more than most people think.Does the Novus Ordo represent the essentials of the Catholic Faith in all of its fullness?No. It does not.For the record, not that it is anyone’s business, I attend the Novus Ordo Mass daily, except when the TLM is available.Does each Mass have objectively the same availability of grace? I don’t know. I know that subjectively, I am able to receive more, and I would argue (basing this on some well-founded theological studies by FSSP priests) that objectively, the Traditional Latin Mass has more graces available, than the Novus Ordo.I presume you disagree, and that is fine with me.I’ll stick with the Pope and the Ottaviani Intervention.The fact that the Novus Ordo is called “ordinary” does not mean it is to be celebrated more frequently or as the “norm” more than the “extraordinary” form/usage. It is merely an affirmation of a current fact.More than 1,600 priests in Germany have requested videos on how to learn to say the Traditional Mass.In the first 3 weeks after the promulgation of the Motu Proprio, more than 250 priests requested videos to learn the Traditional Mass in the U.S., making the total number for the year to be more than 1,000.Ordinary or extraordinary makes no difference. In a generation or two, there will be very few priests offering the Novus Ordo.The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter had 153 requests for applications in the first quarter of 2007. 153…

  • Thank you for your clarification Brian.I think there is room for different opinions and preferences in the different forms of Mass.What I do find worrying is that you think the Ordinary form does not express the fullness of the Catholic faith.This means we have now had four popes who have allowed and promulgated a form of the Mass that does not express the fullness of the Catholic faith.Sorry, but that’s a bit much for me to swallow, but I guess you’re entitled to your opinion.

  • James

    Dear Fr Dwight,Once again you have deleted my comments and offensively called me by names that you know are not true and you refuse to let others judge for themselves.The real reason you deleted my comments from your blog was not because they were rude but because they pointed out errors in your own comments.For instance, I pointed out that the Novus Ordo Missae was intended by the Fathers of Vatican II to be chiefly in Latin and that Pope Paul VI himself expressly said that Latin and chant must be preserved. I also pointed out that the version you say every day is a bad mistranslation by ICEL which is even further from the intention of the Council fathers. Further still from their wishes are the abuses that have been added since.What is offensive about that, may I ask? Surely you are not offended by the truth?I also thanked others for their support but you erased that, too, for being offensive!How’s that?Your reply to Brian shows the mistake that you keep making. The choices are not that both rites are equally good or else one is defective. There is another position: both are valid and licit but one is simply better than the other.This is a position your simply set your face against and refuse even to consider.You make other mistakes but are you really listening to others as you claimed to do in your “Latin Questions” or are you in danger of demonstrating a closed mind?Is it so closed that you will now delete this message, too, pretending that it is “offensive”?Over to you, Father.James.

  • James, your tone is far less offensive this time, and your comment less lengthy.It could be that you are right and one rite is ‘better’ than another, but that will remain a subjective judgement.Those who love the Novus Ordo would argue strongly that their preference is better.That is why my position is to encourage tolerance and charity on all sides.

  • Anonymous

    Forgive me but Mr. Mershon seems quite contentious and pompous to me. I don’t wish to cause an argument between he and I but I think he is simply baiting Fr. Longenecker. I for one love the Mass…whatever its name…ordinary, extraordinary, or otherwise. It is the Mass. So long as there are no dancing girls/boys and clowns (I’ve never seen either by the way) I will attend whatever Mass is at my local parish and support my local bishop and the Holy Father because that is what Catholics do. ACS

  • Ooh, Father, now I see what you were talking about in your original blog post. I think I might have to retract my original “respectful disagreement”. 🙂

  • James

    No, Father, not quite.My last posts were not offensive as others could have seen if you had let them, instead of censoring.Once again, you ignore the fact that a lengthy post shows that the writer is taking your comments seriously.Further, if you took the time to study the two rites you would quickly learn that there are a great many ways in which one can be seen to be OBJECTIVELY better than the other.For instance, the Collects created by Annibale Bugnini, as Prof Lauren Pristas has shown, are doctrinally ambiguous.The ICEL vernacular mistranslation of the Novus Ordo mass has over 300 translation errors in it and the word “sacrifice” appears only once and even then in a mistranslation. Yet this is the mass that both you and Fr Jay Scott Newman use all the time.But you cannot see this if you refuse to do the research.You admit – humbly and admirably – that you are a neophyte in all of this. Good – then take care not to gainsay the insights of those like, say, Rev Michael Lang, Rev Alcuin Reid, Prof Lauren Pristas and the Pope himself, who have studied the rites in depth. They do not agree with you.And don’t get cross with those of us who are trying to show you where the truth lies. We’re not “antis” or being negative or proud or trying to annoy. We are pointing you and others toward the truth. How can that be bad?I, too, am a convert from Anglicanism, and I used to think the same as you but I read and was taught by others and learned, over time, where the truth lies.With respect, deleting uncomfortable posts, calling people names, ignoring letters from friends, and refusing to find out the truth are not, perhaps, the best examples of toleration and charity.James.

  • James

    Father, just so that you realise that I’m not making this up here are 2 quotes from the Vatican Council’s document on liturgy:”36.1 Particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.””116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman Liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.”(Sacrosanctum Concilium)I hardly need to tell you that these 2 directives of the Council have been flatly disobeyed.Where, now, can one get a Latin Novus Ordo Mass, let alone regularly or with pride of place, ditto Gregorian chant? Well, London Oratory perhaps, and hardly anywhere else, but the London Oratorians are largely traditional rite devotees.And you will not find a single word in the document suggesting, let alone mandating, that the priest should face the people when saying mass, rather than face God.The reality is that there has been, and still is, a huge amount of dishonesty about the sacred liturgy. There has been an unauthorised liturgical revolution and it has become a stumbling block for many and a source of strife, division and uncharity, right at the heart of the Eucharist.The time for that sort of division and strife is over. We must now recover our roots. Indeed, that is what the Council originally wanted when it spoke of “restoring the liturgy” but it has been traduced.Those who reject Latin, chant and the liturgical traditions of the Church have imbibed a false spirit that was never permitted by the Council, let alone mandated.James

  • James

    Dear Father,You accuse me of being “insulting” and “arrogant” – certainly two offensive epthets that I have never called you – and then you infer that my posts are “senseless and weird” whilst you proclaim yourself to be “objective, cheerful and positive”. Then you say that I am quoted on a blog belonging to an “anonymous friend” and if you “have nothing better to do” (implication, it’s a waste of time) and want to read “attacks” on yourself, then go to that blog which you clearly want the world to think is mine.Then you later say that you are only trying to encourage “tolerance and charity on all sides”.Really?Well, it’s a point of view, Father, just not a very probable one!James

  • Does anybody get the impression that James is making my point?

  • James

    Dear Father,Actually, no, I think a lot of people think you are making my point for me!James

  • Anonymous

    With all due respect to all sides in this dispute, I think it is hard for converts to feel completely at home with the Mass of Blessed John XXIII. First, they lack the Catholic ethos, the lived experience of Catholicism. Second, they have no experience of the Mass in Latin or the solemnity of the TLM (unless they came over from the Anglican communion). Third, the notion of tradition is difficult as well, particularly for those in the evangelical groups. It’s not simply a matter of quotations from the Scriptures and a reflection on them. The Eucharist is an integrated whole and it goes beyond the Sacrifice of the Mass, outward to all of life. I think this may be quite difficult for converts to absorb at more than an intellectual level. The NO resembles their prior religious experiences much more than the TLM will and this is why I think converts will want to stay with it, that and the notion of “validity.” There is a scholastic element to converts that I find interesting. They have constructed a discarnate Catholicism, one of dogma only, without all that troubling and yucky history and devotional stuff. Just having pure, non-corporeal dogma also allows them to construct a Church THEIR way, you know, a Methodist hymn here, an evangelical practice there. Janice

  • I’m a convert and, FWIW, am in love with the Novus Ordo. I have attended the Latin rite Mass as well, but felt I was more spectating than participating; that said, it won’t be the last Latin Mass I attend and this may be a matter of acquired taste over time.As for Father editing or deleting commentary as he sees fit, it’s his sandbox…Jeff BakerDefendUsInBattle.org

  • James

    Note to Jeff Baker: it may well be Father’s “sandbox” as you call it but that doesn’t mean he can gratuitously slight people through it!So much ought to be obvious.In addition, people should not use any means of communication to denigrate the truth.You wouldn’t like it if someone wrote “Jeff is a thief” on their “sandbox”. And neither would you consider it fair or just.Remember the golden rule, “do as you would be done by”.As for the Novus Ordo – well, I’m glad someone is in love with it. But how does that alter the substance of the debate? It’s just a subjective view.You still have the problems with ICEL, with the abandonment of Latin and Chant, the doctrinally ambiguous Collects, and so many other things.The bottom line is not what do WE want in the liturgy but rather what does GOD want. We should pray as He wants us to not the way we would like to. This is because He knows what is best for us. Liturgy is about the public prayer of the Church not some religious party game for adults.And God has shown us His preference over nearly 2,000 years of the Roman rite.He never said we could have an ad hoc clown mass with liturgical break-dancing in the aisles and babbling in alleged “tongues” such as I have seen so many times at new rite masses.Fact is, the Vatican Council’s decree is a million miles away from such nonsense.And so is the traditional Roman rite. It is also nearly 2,000 years old whereas the new mass is only 40 years old.Give it some thought.James.

  • Janice, I should just point out that the two people who are commenting most avidly on this blog with almost fanatical fervor in favor of the Latin Mass are converts.Your suggestion that converts like the Novus Ordo because it is like our previous worship is nonsense. We didn’t choose to be Catholics because the worship was like what we were used to. We chose to become Catholics because the worship was not like what we were used to.If you are really interested in what converts think and feel take a it more time to listen respectfully to us rather than presuming to know our thoughts and feelings and speaking for us.

  • Anonymous

    Then why is it, Fr. Longenecker, that converts, as a rule, choose the NO? I’ll tell you: because they have no experience of the TLM or of having lived as a Catholic. That takes a great amount of effort, not simply learning dogma or the right answers from the Catechism. That’s just book smart. And that’s the easy part. The harder, more profound part is living as a Catholic. That takes enormous effort and a willingness to part with one’s former life. And, no, I don’t know the story of every convert. But I do know the stories of many of the “new apologists” and so far I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen. Many of them hedge their bets, interpret their Catholicism in terms of their former faith traditions, bring in as much of their former doctrine as they can, live as close to their former faith as they can, attempt to forge what I can only call syncretistic ellisions between Catholicism and “x” faith tradition and still want to be called Catholic. Many won’t have anything to do with Catholic devotions or sacramentals (or other “adiaphora”) on the grounds that these aren’t doctrine, so they are inessential. Well, they are not. They are part of Church tradition, part of the Church’s history, part of who we are as Catholics and they are not to be dismissed as harmful or as non-essential. These people are in the same position as those who advocate the use only of the historical-critical method and abjure faith. They have scientia, but not sapientia. That really doesn’t make them Catholic. Sure, they’ve gone through the motions, said the right words, been confirmed, received the Eucharist, can cite some documents by name. But they’re still some distance from authentic conversion to Catholicism as long as they still withhold part of themselves from the Church. It’s not simply the fact that they can’t erase their past and no one is asking them to do that. It’s that they make no effort to enter fully into the Catholic communion. I don’t presume to know your thoughts, but I can hazard some guesses based on what you write and how you treat subjects like the TLM or your all-too-easy equations between Catholic sacraments and supposedly analogous situations in evangelical protestantism. It’s not that much of a mystery.Janice

  • Anonymous

    Gee Janice! You’re a wonderful Catholic! If only Fr. Longenecker could one day be as full of grace, warmth, good humor and humility as you are. Then he will finally be a ‘real’ Catholic!Thank you so much for giving such a warm and generous welcome to those Protestants who give up their job, their home and a church they love to become Catholics. I hope they will all be able to meet you one day to receive the warmth of your Christian embrace.Thanks so much for your wonderful example!

  • Thanks for your comments. Janice. I guess you know best!All blessings,Fr Dwight

  • Sincere apologies for length [I must have boglitis]Look we all know what Bugnini and his asociated bunch of reprobates were up to – working to very specific long-term agenda – neo-protestant homogenising anti-curial anti-Roman globalism ;But please remember all you opponents of the novus ordo ; that it was Ottaviani, Confalioneri, Bea et al [with the backing of Siri] who fought tooth and nail ; to the extent that Ottaviani risked his life – to ensure that the consecration within the ‘ordinary form’ mass was valid.I get somewhat perturbed when certain ‘professional catholics’ do not recognise their catholicity well enough not to be contaminated by sedevacantist mendacities and brainwashing [think the ‘every pope since Pius XII has been an antichrist’ mostholyfamilymonastery site etc]I will concur ; the US translations of the Missal and the Bible are reprehensibly poor – even after the ‘reforms’ to the mass and Cardinal Arinze was not up to form when he confronted the US national conference of bishops over it ; here’s hoping Ranjith is a little more forceful.But as for the UK and Ireland ICEL ?300 mistranslations ?see this is where the problem resides – some [especially the sedevacantists] wish for transliteration rather than translation – even when it is linguistically and essentially erroneous to do so.take for instance the ‘pro multis’ argument – the English use of all within our translation is a particular exclusive conditional – something which means a very definite specific set of circumstances – which is utterly contrary to the alleged ‘universalism’ the sedevacantist protagonists imply it possesses ; using our conditional ‘all’ brings us closer to multis than if we said many. [for unlike latin , ‘many’ in english implies limitations upon the efficacy of the subject, [the actor and action], rather than the direct object [the acted upon]]I read a long sedevacantist condemnation of the English ICEL of the Creed because it states ‘Of One Being with the Father’ rather than ‘One In Being’ – the fact that Of One Being is an exact , precise and dogmatically pure English translation of homoousios and consubstantialem ; and one in being is technically heterodox as it’s open to a multitude of interpretations [think of the dozens of christological heresies of the past and protestant present that could and would agree with ‘one in Being’ but couldn’t with ‘Of One Being with’?I’ll have to concur with Mr Bogle in some ways [I’ll shower and disinfect later] that some elements of the ordinary form desperately require either excision or reform – some are so blatantly either devoid of doctrinal cohesion or they inadvertently state that which is contrary to our faith – how many of us have actually stopped and thought at what we say after the consecration and realised what we’re saying ?I’m somewhat averse to the NO, but if it were formally authentic and reverent I should be significantly less reticent.