Fr Fox, frequent reader and contributor here, took exception to my post highlighting the worst of the rabid critics of those perceived to be against the revival of the traditional Latin Mass.
I suppose I shouldn’t be under any delusions that my commentary will, in any way, deter traditionalists from violating CCC 2478 every which way from Sunday when sister and brother Catholics disagree with or even dream of thwarting their plans and desires.
Most internet bloggers pretty much take the high road. Even the NLM site, often criticized here, includes contributors who mostly focus on the positive aspects of reform2. Some of them promote rules of conduct. A laudable effort, even if frequently ignored. Most of these same sites are fairly lax in policing their comboxes. The association taints the effort at least a little bit, I’d say.
I think what we view on these comment threads is not necessarily a product of conservative thinking. As much as many reform2 folks nurture the hurts of past oppression, all such inclinations to think little of their ideological adversaries and spare no insult is really part of the human condition. Not an exclusive possession of liberals, conservatives, or any other group–no matter how much any of them aspire to a certain moral superiority.
Like most liturgical progressives, I view Vatican II reforms as far from complete. It’s no secret I have little sympathy for the reform2 effort. I don’t think much of the philosophy of reforming reform when what is really needed is more work on the body of Roman Catholic public prayer. Liturgical reform, in other words. But they’d fracture their fan base if they used the same words I’d use. Getting off easy would be getting branded a Protestant.
I find it telling that traditionalist Catholics who claim to desire a revival of prayer, reverence, beauty, and quality don’t mind airing commentariat opinions such as one today claiming the 1970 Roman Missal is invalid. Yet they are to a person, unwilling to reach out to those who labor against the same cultural biases against art, against good music, and against the efforts to revitalize parishes not through the cultures of sport, elitism, or individualism.
Will the loosening of 1962 Rite restrictions be a spiritual boon for the Church? I honestly don’t know. For internet Catholics, I see no favorable difference in two months. Many believers are still mired in a culture of complaint, having embraced the worst of the victimhood philosophy of secular society.
Unfortunately, it is all too easy to parish-shop and self-segregate into communities of choice. When people are apt to worship at a convenient time and with favorable music and preaching, will something rub off? Doubt it.
My parish has almost two dozen liturgies a week. The goal for many of them is a sung liturgy: Sundays, holy days, school Masses, weddings, and funerals. What we try to accomplish is the equivalent of a traditionalist community trying to pull off a dozen high Masses, including four or five on Sunday.
It would be very easy to chuck all but two or three of these and focus my resources, volunteers, and energy like the traditionalists who have the luxury of picking and choosing times, locales, and other aspects. I’d have worshippers coming from all over the city if I were the only game in town, so to speak.
I suppose I can wish the reform2ers the best of luck. Thinking about their public commentary in some places, I think they’ll need it more than anyone.