Skip to comments.Card. Mahony on the 'Tridentine' Mass (Catholic Caucus)
Posted on 03/02/2009 9:21:44 AM PST by Pyro7480
His Eminence Roger Card. Mahony of Los Angeles shares his view of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and, consequently, of the decision two Popes made to emancipate the older, pre-Conciliar form of Holy Mass.
The setting: On Friday, February 27, 2009, at 11:15 a.m. PST, ChurchWerks.com hosted an online chat session with Cardinal Mahony, live from the main Exhibit Hall at the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, Calif.
Ann Scolari: What are your thoughts on the Trindentine mass?Could not make the transition? What are they, stupid? Have they been lied to?
CardinalMahony: Ann: The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English [or other languages] after the Council. But there is no participation by the people, and I dont believe that instills the spirit of Christ among us.
No participation by the people? What are they doing there?
Doesnt instill the spirit of Christ? What is going on there, Your Eminence?
Are Eastern Catholics stupid or not participating or not instilling the Spirit of Christ if they attend the Divine Liturgy in their sacral liturgical language and their mode of participation, shut out by a screen and forced to listen?
WDTPRSers, I put it you now:
Imagine that a bishop, any bishop, might say things about a highly charged topic during a media interview.
Imagine that during Q&A he grossly mischaracterizes something dear and sacred to a group of people, something that touches on their very identity.
Imagine that this imaginary bishop states, in the media, things which are clearly false, even contrary to the teachings of the Church in the Vatican Council and subsequent legislation of Popes.
This imaginary bishop really believes his position to be true, but his statements however sincerely believed are deeply offensive to a interested group who have in the past been marginalized and mistreated.
Even people who do not prefer to attend Holy Mass in the older form should be offended by what Card. Mahony said to the world in this online chat.
He slapped our ancestors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and everyone who loves our Churchs Holy Mass and Divine Liturgy in all its beautiful, meaningful, sacred and legitimate forms.
P. Introibo ad altare Dei
S. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.
Someone please be offended for me. If I take time to be offended every time Cdl. Mahony says something rude, crazy, or heretical, I'll never get Vlad toilet trained.
Let us pray;
Father, please grant your servant Roger Mahoney the grace of repentance and conversion, that he may truly and faithfully fulfill the office of Cardinal Archbishop, which has been entrusted to him.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God Forever.
Why do these CINO’s have their arms outstretched? Are they doing some holy wave?
It’s the Jack Kirby posture. ZAAARK!!! Bless rays shoot from their extended arms, spoiling the evil intentions of Galactus! Yay, the Earth is saved once again by these brave super heroes!!
Thank you, great job!
This has been going on, in every diocese, for the last 40 odd years. If you buy this line, get in line for 0bama’s Kool-Aid.
The liberal movement in the Catholic Church has used Saul Alinsky’s textbook for years. Politics of personal destruction, mischaracterizing issues, incrementalization; it’s all there. Toda, We even have pro-murder “Catholics” advocating murderers to be accepted in the Church’s name.
Sodom and Gomorrah were not this wicked!
They are supposedly extending their hands in prayer (assisting whoever might be pronouncing the prayer). It was done frequently in the Charismatic Renewal. They are "helping," so to speak. I don't know how appropriate or licit it might be. Some speakers (priests or otherwise) invite the congregation to add their prayers in this manner.
Kneeling, folding their hands and bowing their heads like Sister Mary Attila said do isn’t good enough for them?
That's so ... so ... so
She'd feel right at home at our parish. It was S.R.O. for Ash Wednesday (I've never seen the place so crowded, even at Easter or Christmas) and we were all kneeling at the Consecration on the cold stone floor of the narthex . . . .
I agree. I always thought it was like "playing priest."
They are extending their hands in a blessing of some sort, which I do not believe they are supposed to be doing, but which occurs at pretty much every parish.
“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. Last week I went to mass because I could not make the transition from Latin to English, did not participate in the mass, and did not have the spirit of Christ instilled in me.”
It's particularly amusing to me because I used to be an Episcopalian, and they never did sign on to all this ad lib nonsense. Their theology may be severely defective, but they know bad taste when they see it.
Which nicely illustrates the extremely tenuous connection between faithful Christianity and good taste.
For almost 1,700 years, the Church’s ceremonies and sense of protocol were so much the standard of good taste that they were imitated by every royal house of Europe.
Which further illustrates the extremely tenuous connection between faithful Christianity and good taste. Great examples of the Faith, all those royals.
Please don’t be obtuse. We’re not discussing private behavior, of royals or anyone else. We’re discussing ceremony and the visible Church’s historical sense of propriety in how things ought to be done.
The Holy Field Goal! LOLOLOL
Oh, man, am I glad we have the TLM in our parish.
Fr. Z misses an even worse implication. Mahony is saying that the “spirit” of Christ is only present when the laity are participating. If I understand correctly, this is the Lutheran belief of consubstantiation.
Mother Angelica was right. Once again, Mahony has de facto denied the actual, physical presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Read further in the chat. Mahony also says “Mass is boring.”
I was discussing the relationship between good taste and Christian holiness. I apologize if you thought we were having a different conversation.
I believe Card. Mahony is being honest, and, after a fashion, correct, in his assessment of the Second Vatican Council.
The key to understanding the Council is that it replaced Scholasticism with Phenomenology as the thought of the Church -- or rather, with a Phenomenological reworking of Thomism (a la Congar and Rahner).
According to this new thought of the Church, the Traditional Mass does not, strictly speaking, "instill the spirit of Christ in us."
A phenomenological understaning of that "spirit of Christ" is a spirit that works toward world peace through nuclear disarmament, social justice through redistribution of wealth, and a transformation of human nature so that we all sing "Kumbaya" together in a journey of collective salvation.
And it is quite true that the Traditional Mass does not foster any of these goals of the Council.
Fr. Z is quite correct that neither does the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.
It's [big, dramatic toss of the locks] so old-fashioned.
What you do affects how you pray. Reverent, somewhat formal behavior helps put you into the proper frame of mind to appear before Christ Himself. The more of a difference we draw between our everyday actions and our conduct in worship, the more we remind ourselves that we are in a special and holy place that demands more of us.
On the other hand, jumping around high-fiving each other at the Peace, waving our hands in the air, holding hands and hoisting them high for all to see, and generally behaving as if we are at a party or a rock concert changes the focus from what's happening on the altar to what WE and OUR BUDDIES are doing.
The English have always done ceremonial better than anyone else, and they have an instinctive understanding of what "works" on formal occasions. The apex of that was Queen Elizabeth's coronation, but you can see it even in the House of Commons (as rowdy as that joint gets from time to time) or just an ordinary service even according to the New Prayer Book.
In the case of many (not all) Episcopalians, it's become as a sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal . . . because they no longer believe. But at least their conduct in church isn't detracting from worship.
Of course the silliest Catholic service (as long as the Mass is valid) is superior to the non-worship of the loony Episcopalian contingent. But how much better to have BOTH a valid Mass AND a reverent congregation focussed on Christ instead of their silly selves.
Good post AM. If folks are generally un-edjumcated as regards the Faith, forms of the litugy should be used that teach. I still think it looks like MAHONY the LIVING PLANET attacking Earth and a buncha Marvel super heroes are defending it...
That's certainly true. However, as you observed above, a fine liturgy does not, in the Episcopal church, directly correlate with a believing Christian congregation. And the Roman Catholic generation that grew up with your Sister Mary Attila and her fine rules of deportment abandoned their faith at the first whiff of a birth control pill. So what's up with that?
The answer to that question is easy, because it's happening again with Obama. When radicals gain control, they don't waste time with the "oh we mustn't upset people, we must respect their feelings" maunderings that well brought up people suppose that they should. They just jump in and CHANGE everything, all at once.
The generation of Sister Mary Attila came to Mass one Sunday and found the altar in the middle of the floor, the saints' statues gone, the confessionals gone, and Father seemingly having taken leave of his senses. They were told everything they had been taught was WRONG and STUPID and that the "new Church" was where it was at.
They felt abandoned and confused, and they left. The people who took VCII and used it as a cloak for their radicalization of the Church will have much to answer for at their particular judgment -- especially for the scandal to the faithful and a cause of their abandonment of their faith.
I guess I just don’t understand abandoning the truth because of feelings or taste. Maybe I would, if I’d been there.
It was because they were told by the Church (through her visible and ordained priest) that everything they had believed was WRONG.
And they weren't told gradually, encouraged and given options, as BXVI has most graciously done in trying to undo the damage. It all happened overnight, without any warning, without any choice, without any refuge.
They were shaken to their core, and they figured if everything they had been taught was wrong, why stay?
It sounds very distressing. I’m glad I wasn’t born then.
It all had an effect even on us kids, I think. Many of my Catholic friends stopped going to Mass, and I think that was only partly because of the usual teenage rebellion stuff.
What a difference a generation makes ...
The fact that Mahony is a crackpot is not in dispute. However, the equation of a “traditionalist” view of liturgy with Christian faith still seems to me to be stretched past its limits, given (for example) that 40% of “traditionalist” Catholics voted for Obama, according to an article in the most recent “First Things.”
But neither is that here nor there, since, when the persecution comes, it will sort out everyone who has the appearance of religion without the reality, whether his “appearance” is enthusiastic or rigorously formal.
But wrenching myself back to the point . . . I hope I made clear that there is a world of difference between outward signs and faith. I know some pretty liturgically loose people (a particular Franciscan priest comes to mind) who are faithful believers and will no doubt be way ahead of me at the Judgment.
On the other hand, outward signs can be a stumbling block (all the cheering and waving) or they can assist in worship. BXVI is hardly a 'traditionalist' in the pejorative sense, but he has written very lucidly about the need for serious thinking about whether certain liturgical customs interfere with the act of worship.
I agree. And the pollster would probably be unaware that Romania doesn’t have a queen at the moment ;-).
That's her, with the King of Romania. I guess they just sit around waiting to see if the country's going to restore the monarchy. They're Hohenzollerns, so I guess they're not hurting in the meantime.
The king looks just like David Brinkley, bless his heart.
I lived through those years, though I was young. (I received my first communion in 1968, and remember the introduction of the new Mass in 1970.)
You have to understand that Catholics before 1960 were taught the faith -- formally and informally -- in a very clear (that's good) manner, but also in a very rigid (hmmm) manner, with a lack of distinction between dogma, doctrine, common theological opinion, discipline, "best practice," pious custom, etc. (and that's bad).
Also, for many of them, their religious training stopped abruptly with confirmation in 8th grade.
(Catholics between about 1960 and 1985 were often taught garbage or nothing, so they are even worse off. That's my generation.)
So when one tiny part of this edifice was suddenly thrown away, it seemed like the whole thing was up for grabs.
For example, my father was an altar boy back in the early 1930's. He was highly scandalized by the idea of receiving the Eucharist from a lay person, because (as he quite correctly noted) he was not even allowed to touch the chalice as an altar boy, but could only handle it through the veil.
At one point, I remember him saying flatly that receiving Communion from a layperson was no different than eating a cracker; IOW, he was embracing the (completely heretical) idea that the efficacy of the Host depended on the minister who gave it to you!
In the 1960's and 70's, a "tiny part of this edifice" was not thrown away, huge chunks of it were tossed out overnight. (Go to an indult Tridentine Mass at an FSSP parish sometime, and imagine going from that to a tacky, irreverent Novus Ordo in barely 10 years, and you'll see what I mean.)
Because of the lack of distinction that had been made during their catechesis between different levels of teaching and practice, people erroneously assumed that, if lots of liturgical custom and practice could be thrown out, lots of moral theology could also be thrown out (and shortly would be).
I haven't read the article (can you link or post it?), but I'm curious how the poll defined "traditionalist Catholic".
Good explanation. Thanks for taking the time. (I didn’t realize you were that much older ... ;-)
My parents were (Protestant) children in the 1930’s and 40’s, and both knew plenty of Catholics. Dad was even engaged to one, around 1955! Neither of them remembers any of their peers’ being able to explain why they did or believed any of the things non-Catholics noticed as being different. That seems to me to reflect a significant failure in what is now presented as a Golden Age.
As a first-generation Catholic product of the John Paul II years, I’ve missed a lot of historical turmoil and baggage! I’m sure I’ve also missed plenty that was beneficial, but I don’t, subjectively, miss it because it was never a part of my or my family’s experience.
The site indicates that there’s also an interview with the author there somewhere, so it might give more information.
I wonder if Brinkley was a Hohenzollern . . . .
Yeah, I'm a dinosaur. I remember people being appalled that gasoline had hit 40 cents a gallon. What will we do? Where will we go?
(After all, tomorrow ... is another day. But I digress ...)
Neither of them remembers any of their peers being able to explain why they did or believed any of the things non-Catholics noticed as being different. That seems to me to reflect a significant failure in what is now presented as a Golden Age.
Yup ... catechetical clericalism. In fact, the correct answer to "why do you do or believe those things?" is always, "Because Father (or Sister) said to." Now Father may be a heart-of-gold wonderful paragon of priestly virtue and orthodoxy ... but what if he isn't?
And what if Father said to do X last week, but this week we're implementing the latest "liturgical reform" and Father says to do "not X"?
You can see how disorienting things became for many Catholics in that era. And much of the liturgical disorientation was so unnecessary -- the Mass envisioned by Vatican II was somewhere between that indult FSSP Tridentine Mass and what you see on EWTN. (Yes, I'm saying that EWTN may be *less* traditional than what VC 2 envisioned.)
Instead, things went very far out in left field very fast, and have (in fits and starts) been drifting back.
Im sure Ive also missed plenty that was beneficial, but I dont, subjectively, miss it because it was never a part of my or my familys experience.
Take in some more traditional liturgies when you have the chance. It's an acquired taste (especially the Latin Mass), but it "grows on you".
A big part of our family vacations (if we're passing through a bigger city) is scouting out neat churches ... Anglican Use, indult Tridentine, Byzantine Rite, Maronite Rite ... it's great to be Catholic. :-)
(If you ever make it back to San Antonio, Our Lady of the Atonement Anglican Use is one of those "Lord, it is good for us to be here ... let us erect three booths ..." experiences. You don't want to leave.)