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Light Years From Home

Msgr. M. Francis Mannion, who writes the “Pastoral Answers” column in Our Sunday Visitor, is on record as disapproving of the Tridentine Latin Mass (see our New Oxford Notes “Absolutely Null & Utterly Void,” May 2007, and “Msgr. Mannion Is Infatuated With the Modern World,” Jan. 2008). He has described himself as “unenthusiastic” about Summorum Pontificum, Pope Benedict XVI’s motu proprio that liberated the Tridentine Mass. Msgr. Mannion has said that the growing attraction of young Catholics to the Tridentine Mass “may not be a blessing,” and warned of creeping “ritualism.” Msgr. Mannion so disdains the Tridentine Mass because it “does not reflect the reform of the Second Vatican Council.” The Church, he says, “should be united around one liturgy” — i.e., the Novus Ordo Mass of Pope Paul VI.

The Tridentine Latin Mass, which was codified by Pope St. Pius V in 1570, dates back some 1,500 years. It is the traditional liturgical expression of the Catholic Faith. It is, without a doubt, distinctly Catholic.

Still, Msgr. Mannion prefers the Novus Ordo.

Which is why we read with no small amount of surprise this statement in his January 8 “Pastoral Answers” column: “The similarities…between the Lutheran and Catholic eucharistic liturgies are among the fruits of the modern liturgical movement.” It is as we feared!

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