Msgr. Mannion Is Infatuated With the Modern World

January 2008

In his Questions & Answers column titled "More Tridentine Trouble: Confusion Continues to Surround Pope's Approval for Wider Use of This Mass in Latin" (Our Sunday Visitor, Oct. 7, 2007), Msgr. M. Francis Mannion gives an answer to this question: "What is your take on the Tridentine Mass...?" Msgr. Mannion answers: "'Traditionalists' who are attached to the Tridentine Mass and do not like the Mass of Pope Paul VI, or the Novus Ordo, are generally opposed to the Second Vatican Council in a number of important areas -- particularly its teaching on ecumenism, religious freedom and the modern world." Ecumenism and religious freedom are not doctrines, but policies. He continues: "The liturgy [the new vernacular Mass] cannot be separated from a whole worldview...." The modern world, a whole worldview? This is the Spirit of the Age. Ah, but this spirit changes. Pope Benedict says in his letter to bishops that accompanied Summorum Pontificum (July 7, 2007), his motu proprio liberating the Tridentine Mass, "There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal [Tridentine Mass and New Mass]. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture" (italics added).

As for Msgr. Mannion's subtitle, "Confusion Continues to Surround Pope's Approval...," Benedict also says in his letter to the bishops, "the new mis­sal...frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion" (italics added). We hope Benedict will eliminate the confusion engendered by Vatican II. It will be a Herculean task.

Msgr. Mannion says, "It is also said that the so-called old Mass is attractive to youth. This may not be a blessing.... This phenomenon should be examined carefully so that ritualism (a love of ritual and not much else) is not encouraged." Benedict also says in his letter to the bishops, "it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form [the Tridentine Mass], felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the mystery of the most holy Eucharist particularly suited to them." Benedict does not mention "ritualism"; he implies that the Tridentine Mass is a blessing for young persons.

In a New Oxford Note (May 2007, pp. 14-16), we said, "Msgr. Mannion is not fond of the indult Tridentine Latin Mass, and he expected it to go away. In the book Beyond the Prosaic (1998), edited by Stratford Caldecott, Msgr. Mannion says that the indult Tridentine Mass is 'only...a temporary measure.'... In his Questions and Answers column in Our Sunday Visitor (March 18 [2007]), Msgr. Mannion gives an answer to this question: 'I have read in various Catholic publications that Pope Benedict XVI is going to reintroduce [free up] the Tridentine Mass.... Why do some people oppose these plans?'... Msgr. Mannion answers: 'Those who are unenthusiastic about a further reintroduction of the Tridentine Mass, including myself, generally operate on the principle that the Church should be united around one liturgy and that no liturgy should be used in the Church that does not reflect the reform of the Second Vatican Council.'"


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New Oxford Notes: January 2008

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Someone should develop a web site to count Catholics who want to have Tridentine Mass in their neighborhood parish. This would include the person's name and the names and locations of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices of parishes where they would like to have the Tridentine Mass celebrated. Some provision would have to be made to keep confidential the names and addresses of the requestors as this information seems to be required for a petition. It seems a device such as this would speed up the movement toward effecting Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum. I really do not know much about setting up web sites, just thought this would be a successful idea. Posted by: joreill
January 10, 2008 01:07 PM EST
It would indeed be very helpful to have a website for Catholics desiring a Traditional Mass in their home area to "register" so that they could, at the very least connect, or touch base with one another, as well as stand and be counted in their dioceses. I live in the Diocese of Brooklyn, a very "diverse" community in all respects except for openness to the Trad. Mass. I wrote to the editor of the diocesan newspaper requesting advice as far as making it known that we would like a Trad. Mass in our parish, or at least area (there is presently one Trad. Mass celebrated in our diocese on Sundays, and it is inconvenient for many people, including me, to get there). Very unhelpful--"There is no interest in having any other Latin Masses..." Anything anyone can think of to bring such a website about would be very welcome. I would be more than happy to assist in any way I could. Posted by: tradgirl52
January 10, 2008 04:31 PM EST
It has been eye opening for me to see the amount of hostility towards the Traditional Latin Mass. Why don't people get it?

Have they thought about orientation? If Jesus Christ is God (which He is), and if He is truly present in the Eucharist (which He is), does it make any sense at all to put his tabernacles off to the side or in another room? Does it make any sense at all for the priest to turn his back on his Lord and King while saying Mass?

Orientation is a BIG deal. Even if we forget the beauty of Latin and Chant, orientation ought to be a central concern. If we understand Christ to be God, how we worship him should reflect that understanding.

Why the hostility on the part of so many?
Posted by: eakter
January 16, 2008 07:18 PM EST
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