1 July 2007

Cardinal O'Malley and his Motu Proprio Comments...

[Taken from Lady in the Pew]
First of all, you may well be saying:

Kelly! Who the BLEEP are YOU to question Cardinal O'Malley when HE was in Rome personally, heard the document, heard the Holy Father's explanation of it, and anyway is the bleeping ARCHBISHOP of BOSTON, you NOBODY, you!

To which I respond:

Good points! And did I tell you I talked to my Uncle Ed last night?

My Uncle Ed lives in Detroit.

In his mid-eighties, he "goes fishin" at least once a week, takes care of his lawn, likes "Wheel of Fortune" and eats TV dinners on a regular basis. He also attends Mass every Sunday. In fact, during my rather mindless chatter on the weather, sports, and other assorted topics (I realize it's difficult to imagine me chatting mindlessly) he broke in to ask one question:

"You still go to church, right? Or what?"

After a moment of silence—yes, I was silent for a moment—I replied:

"Uh...yeah. Every day."

That, in turn, silenced Uncle Ed.

"What? I thought I heard you say `every day'. I'm asking you if you still go to church!"

It took about 15 minutes to explain to my uncle that here in Boston (totally unlike there, in Detroit) it's as easy as pie to go to Mass on a daily basis.

"Well I'll be bleeped." (In some ways I take after my Uncle Ed, even though we're not really blood related.) "You know...most people I know don't go to church. Catholics, I mean. I go. But it isn't the same, you know? Funny thing, the Mass, these days."

I know what he means.

Where I live, in one of the largest Catholic areas in the world... most Catholics don't go to church either. Not even on Sundays. Which, and please don't let this spoil your day, is a mortal sin. Which, in turn (and again, I'm not trying to be a downer here) could be a one-way ticket to Hell.

"Kelly. I'm sure your Uncle is a fine man but what does this have to do with...?"

I know...sometimes I wander. But I'm not really wandering here. Because, for one thing, Cardinal O'Malley writes:

In my comments at the meeting I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low. Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country. Therefore this document will not result in a great deal of change for the Catholics in the U.S. Indeed, interest in the Latin Mass is particularly low here in New England.

Coupla problems here.


I told my brother bishops that in the United States the number of people who participate in the Latin Mass even with permission is very low.

In a way, he's right, given that the Novus Ordo is, in fact, the Latin Rite. As in, "Roman Catholic." But that's not, I believe, what he's saying. What he's saying is "the number of people who participate in the Indult Mass is very low."

Yeah? Well, with all due respect, the number of people who participate in Sunday Mass in any language is very low! Ergo, (if you'll all forgive the Latin), we've got a problem here.


Additionally, according to the research that I did, there are only 18 priories of the Society of St. Pius X in the entire country.

I think we may be observing the Archbishop of Boston falling for a straw man argument here...the straw man being the SSPX.

As I wrote yesterday, it seems that some folks think the Pontiff's Moto Proprio is simply a sop to get the SSPX priests back into the fold. Again, I wasn't there but you know what?

I think that's a lot of doo-hickey.

Cardinal O'Malley writes:

The Holy Father was very clear that the ordinary form of celebrating the Mass will be the new rite, the Norvus Ordo.

Makes sense.

But by making the Latin Mass more available, the Holy Father is hoping to convince those disaffected Catholics that it is time for them to return to full union with the Catholic Church.

Maybe this makes sense, too. But the question is this: is this the sole reason for the Moto Proprio? Cardinal O'Malley implies that it is:

So the Holy Father’s motivation for this decision is pastoral. He does not want this to be seen as establishing two different Roman Rites, but rather one Roman Rite celebrated with different forms. The Moto Propio is his latest attempt at reconciliation.

I think, yes, the Holy Father's motive is a pastoral one. But to imply that the only motive is to attempt reconciliation with SSPX is a stretcher, in my humble opinion.

Gerald's quote says it quite well:

As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger [uh...the guy we now call Pope Benedict XI] continually advocated the return of the Latin language to the Mass, that Gregorian Chant be sung and that the congregation does not stand around the altar fixated on the priest but rather face, together with the priest, towards East, looking towards God. Above all he wants that this liturgy, that was celebrated for centuries, expressing the holiest that the Church possesses, the Eucharistic sacrifice, lives again and continues to develop, accompanying the life of the faithful through time.

Here's my point: (yeah, I'm almost done, sheesh)

The notion that the Pope's Moto Proprio is just another olive branch offered to a schismatic bunch is foolish, I think. The fact is, most Catholics do not go to Mass! And one reason may well be that the Mass as celebrated today lacks much of that holiness, that reverence, that says to the faithful: "This is a Sacrifice you are privileged to be a part of."

In Latin, for example, we hear "The Lord be with you," and respond "And with your spirit."

In English, we are more than likely to hear "Good morning! Peace and love to you all" and be expected to respond in any manner including "You go, Father!"

So maybe, just maybe, the Holy Father is trying to bring back the holiness, the reverence, that certainly ought to be associated with so great a Sacrifice. If he is—and I think he is—what the bleep is wrong with that?

Nothing. Just ask my Uncle Eddie. (Who, by the way, has never even heard of SSPX.)

God love you. And God love and bless Cardinal O'Malley, whose birthday we celebrate today.

No comments: