Summorum Pontificum, One Year In

CNS has a catch-all piece offering scattered reactions to last year’s “liberation” of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). One analysis:

The response to the papal letter varied around the world. In the United States, many bishops — even those not enthusiastic about the new policy — took steps to explain it to their faithful and put it into practice. But in Europe and Latin America, conference participants said, there’s been less favorable reaction.

Not really surprising. American bishops have generally taken liturgical updates fairly seriously. French- and English-language Catholics seem to be running ahead of other believers in letter-writing to the Ecclesia Dei commission, the Roman group that oversees the TLM.

Father Joseph Kramer, pastor at Rome’s Santissima Trinita church, said that so far his parish is attracting a lot of younger people and those over 50, but not many in between and few young families.

In general, he said, it’s important for traditionalist Catholics to make it clear that they accept the changes of the Second Vatican Council, in order not to frighten off “normal” Catholics who might be attracted to the older rite.

Yes. TLM advocates stand uncomfortably close to schismatics for the taste of some Catholics. The blogosphere’s Father Z is one source quoted a good bit in the article, saying that …

Latin proficiency is an example of where a double standard seems to be used to create an obstacle to the wider offering of the older Mass. While it’s true that a priest celebrating in Latin has to know what he’s saying at the altar, he said, one could also ask about proficiency in English among priests coming from a foreign country to serve in the United States.

I can’t disagree about foreign clergy being a challenge, but the move to bring in priests from Poland, Africa, and elsewhere is usually initiated by the more conservative bishops.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to Summorum Pontificum, One Year In

  1. All this top-down analysis is wearisome, Todd. See previous post “Clericalism, culture of” regarding how the local parish church is subjugated to the preferences, superiors and documents be-spurned, of each priest/celebrant. I watched Abp. Burke’s brief appearance on EWTN’s REPORT FROM ROME last evening, and wished to the heaven’s I’d recorded it. Why? So I could lure our local collars into a tea and cookies subterfuge, wherein they’d be forced to listen to his cogent and very timely perspective on the need to awaken all catholics who attend or minister at Masses to the necessary (and obvious?) understanding of sacramentality.

  2. Rob F. says:

    I don’t think that Fr. Z is saying that foreign priests need to be given proficiency tests in English; he is using it as an example of why no Latin proficiency test is needed. To impose a test in one case and not the other is a double standard. The standard should be uniform, i.e., no proficiency tests for anyone.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    How about proficiency tests for all?

  4. Jack Smith says:

    I was part of a pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of SF years ago under AB Quinn. One of the proposals from the group was teaching the priests how to give better homilies and how to speak better English. This was the only proposal I remember AB Quinn speaking out about.

    He said, in effect, that a homily was an expression of the priest’s faith and that while a certain training could effect a better presentation, it couldn’t effect a better homily.

    I know this isn’t strictly related to this post, but I bristle any time I see (as in SF) gray-haired Anglos bitching for the Filipinos and Chinese to speak better English.

    To begin with, they’re speaking mostly to Filipinos and Chinese anyway, and secondly, many are expressing a more certain and lived faith, through broken English, than the favorites of the old dwindling Irish/Anglo remnant.

    There was a CTA style blue-rinse convocation in San Francisco recently at USF and one of their top concerns was to teach Asians how to lose their accents.

    If there is any cross-cultural training to be done in SF, it’s from the Asians and Hispanics to the natives on how to reproduce. But it’s too late and people should stop griping about the face of the Church as it is and will be.

  5. Jack Smith says:

    And please forgive the segue Todd. It’s not in response to you or Fr. Z. The post just raised the subject in my mind.

  6. Rob F. says:

    Jimmy Mac said, “How about proficiency tests for all?”

    That would certainly eliminate the double standard.

    I don’t see how it would be helpful, though. Just one more beaurocratic hoop for a priest to jump through before he would be allowed to help out in a pinch.

  7. Todd says:

    No problem, Jack. Comment away anytime.

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