Just read The Pillar’s summary of the new Motu Proprio radically restricting the use of the “Extraordinary Form” aka “the Traditional Latin Mass”.
Personal reaction: Lord have mercy.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve attended a TLM, and still have fingers left to use in the future (and I hope to do so). I sometimes attend a Latin-language Novus Ordo; I often attend, by choice, a very high-church, liturgically solemn classical choral Mass; the other top-choice Mass I attend is a low-key contemporary praise-and-worship Mass, heavy on the Matt Maher, and I could do with ramping up to unlock at least Baptist-level enthusiasm, if we can’t have full on Pentecostal; and then I have a secret love for a certain circa-1983 guitar Mass I get to periodically. Plus, you know, all the others.
Indeed, the morning I heard about Pope Benedict’s 2007 motu propio, now freshly abrogated by Pope Francis, my husband and I were attending a charismatic renewal retreat. Bishop Baker (now of Birmingham, then of Charleston) made the announcement during Mass, and the congregation cheered. Charismatics cheered.
Of course they did: Every valid Mass is a good Mass.
The TLM didn’t go bad in your fridge like old bread because we kept it too long.
You know who keeps the Mass, any Mass, ever-new and ever-healing? Jesus. He shows up every time. Breathes His Life into it. That’s how it works.
I am blown away that the holy father would do such a thing. I am reeling. My heart is breaking for dear friends who have faithfully, prayerfully, with patience, humility and obedience worked to bring the traditional Mass to their community, and now are having it ripped away?
This is evil.
I know about the types of problems that tend to crop up in TLM communities. Some of those problems are extremely serious. Y’all: There are serious problems that tend to crop up in Novus Ordo parishes, too. It’s not the form of the Mass. It’s the humans. Concupiscence is a bear.
And why the heck should a bishop of a large, geographically expansive and culturally diverse diocese with plenty of problems to deal with, have to personally micromanage decisions like this? And friggin’ check with Rome before you say yes?? Is it not enough that he pastor his priests, listen for problems, and reserve his limited time and energy for accompanying those communities where problems actually happen?
This is evil.
I’m sorry. I am not a “TLM person”, but when you play power-hungry corrupt county sheriff with a legitimate, reverent, God-focused form of the divine liturgy, you have done something evil.
Photo: detail of rosaries hanging at an altar, via Wikimedia, CC 3.0. Only one solution here, when you’re praying for mercy for a guy who just stepped off the ledge. Get on it. Big P&F for the win every time.
(And no, I’m not going to call the TLM “ancient.” It’s just reaching middle age at best. We have ancient liturgies, we have young liturgies, and, wow, I’m feeling like the TLM is the Gen X liturgy of the Church. With all that implies, fellow Gen X’ers nod together and sigh.)