From the Combox

“The altar is situated in such a way for Mass to be celebrated either way.”


What a shame. Will this Conciliar nonsense ever end?


While the business about the good, the true, and the beautiful is quite fashionable among Conciliarists, the hard truth is that truth is often quite ugly and brutal, the good is often hidden in ugliness, and the beautiful isn’t always true or good. Let’s grow up. Let’s abandon this kind of wretched sentimentality.
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The above was contributed to my combox for the post picturing the interior of our new church at Our Lady of the Rosary parish. I’m not sure quite what to make of it because I’m not certain of all the seemingly inside loaded language. What, for instance, is a ‘Conciliarist’? I am assuming that this is traddy slang for a person who thinks the Second Vatican Council is okay. Also, the writer seems to think it is ‘nonsense’ to even consider that Mass might be celebrated facing the people.

So I have attempted a translation of the above into language we can all understand–see if I’ve got it right:


What a shame that these people who pretend to be Catholics insist on foisting innovations like Mass in the vernacular and celebrating facing the people on all us real Catholics who know that such things are Protestant heresies infiltrating our liturgy.

These ‘neo-con’ Catholics are all gushy and girly about this ‘beauty’ thing. I am really mad that one of them is building a church that is traditional and beautiful. How dare he steal that from us. Doesn’t he know that beautiful and traditional Catholicism is ours! It belongs to us traditionalists. He can’t have it. Therefore, if he has it must be wrong after all.  I must make him see that ‘beauty’ is just a load of sentimental nonsense too. Truth is often ugly and brutal like me. 


Let’s get rid of this sickening ‘beauty’ stuff and make our religion just as sour, negative, pessimistic, nasty and bitter as I am.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p00d83451ced869e2 Ryan Ellis

    The commenter is wrong for another reason: the design that I saw here has a ciborium over the altar. This is a very elegant solution to the separated altar question. Going forward, it's a nice way of squaring the circle.Presumably, the sanctuary has sufficient room to have even a Solemn High Mass without ministers bumping into each other. If you have that, you have no altar problem with design.There may also be LIMITED occasions where verus populum is desirable. For example, there might be a teaching Mass for young children or RCIA .

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06618318192221168152 mary333

    Yes, Father, this is similar to how I translated the comment (though, not as easily). I actually prefer your version to the comment that was left on your site and, to be honest, would be less offended by a straight and to the point attack that was clearly and simply stated like your "translation" was. I hate when people don't shoot straight from the hip. I especially cannot stand it when they make up new words to fit their cause. I'm always wary when I see comments like these…they are worded in such a way as to make others feel idiotic if they don't have the same beliefs as the writer. Patronizing, is what they are.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12858120820470784593 Anneg

    Thanks, Father. I couldn't figure out if the comment was from a super-trad or an angry protestant, or somebody committed to Neubau, Our Lady of the Warehouse architecture. THanks for the exegesis.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10503510474554718305 Just another mad Catholic

    If I were your positon Father I would choose to design the new OLR so that Mass would HAVE to celebrated Ad Orientem, however I'm not the one giving the architect his specs.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12373317560249811006 Fr Longenecker

    JAMC – the preference for Ad Orientem has to be balanced with the pastoral needs of the parish. I know some parishes where traditionalist worship was foisted on the people and they voted with their feet.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04551226315327893877 Marilyn

    One finds God’s transcending beauty and truth and good in the ugliest place – that of Christ’s crucifixion and death – which points to a love beyond this world. A beautiful church may awaken in us the power to see the beauty in the form emanating from the Cross, a beauty of divine love. It is an aesthetical encounter. War, oppression, abortion, etc., are also ugly, but devoid of love. There is no truth or beauty or good without love. I think Fr. Longenecker’s beautiful church will be born of love – both human and divine.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03863238974112625015 Paul

    There is something to be said for celebrating mass with the same orientation as the great Roman basilicas.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01306017321460701751 Paul Rodden

    I do sometimes wonder whether many TLM-lovers mistake epicureanism for beauty.http://tinyurl.com/66czxnm

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06349146033236890779 Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    Wow Father, were you using the 1970 ICEL translation on this one?I understand Father that dealing with trads is not easy but I would not paint a caricature of them as you have on this post. I am sorry to say that anger may have gotten the best of you on this occasion. I would also like to add that yes Mass facing the people is a huge problem. The Mass is the offered by the Priest in behalf of God's people both united towards God. To celebrating towards the people is simply "unhelpful" in communicating the nature of what goes on at Mass and makes people assume wrong things about the Mass. Also I may point out of Pius XII document in which he instructs that tabernacle and altars NOT be separated because it would cause confusion upon the laity. And it has of course.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06349146033236890779 Giovanni A. Cattaneo

    As per your comment toward JAMC.Father Longnecker I am sorry to see that in your parish the Truth of our faith is now dependent on majority vote. I remember not very long ago a not so very young Pope seemed to have a different opinion on the matter.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04611694996611765479 Evagrius Ponticus

    Fr.,Sadly, an all-too-accurate translation of what one often finds in the mouths of trads. A further elucidation, however: the poster appears to have conflated acceptance of the Second Vatican Council with the (chiefly medieval) belief that the Church should be run by a permanent council of the Church, rather than the Papacy.Also, the commenter, in declaring 'versus populum' to be modern, showed themselves to be staggeringly ignorant (as Paul indicates, above), but all-too-typical of the traditionalist Catholic, who tends to insist on strictures that are, in actual fact, very little to do with the tradition of the Church. This, I suppose, is my issue with traditionlism: it erects a false, distorted version of the past, and claims it as absolutely true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01306017321460701751 Paul Rodden

    If you were in South East London and not a friend of a certain priest there, I can imagine those exact words coming from him.I have been privileged to see both of his faces: one for bishops and those who breathe the same rarefied air as himself, the other for simple souls who don't understand it, and so are treated as 'Catholic Underclass'.


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