Saturday, August 08, 2009

Behind the Tablet

If you don't click on the links this will be as clear as mud.

That wretched Tablet is at it again, it appears to be to pitching Archbishop Nichols againts the Pope. Fr Z does one of his critiques of the editorial, as does this article here. The editorial is the normal yawningly inept tosh, rightly ridiculed elsewhere. I wonder what influence the Archbishop could bring to repace the editor, who presumably wrote the editorial.

However, the real story is most probably to found here, in another Tablet article. I suspect that this is what my visitor was referring to here.

Now is the time for unity not factionalism!


Will said...

The archbishop makes a valid point. One wonders, however, why the same admonition is not addressed to those who exclusively celebrate the N.O. while dismissing the usus antiquior.

Dilly said...

The letter is to the Latin Mass Society - not to "Latin Mass Supporters" in general. As reported in various blogs - the LMS appears to have suffered from some differences of opinion among its management. Abp Nichols appears to be firing a warning shot across the bows, to indicate that he is keeping an eye out for signs of "entryism", and a consequent change of purpose in the Society. Whether or not he is justified in his suspicions, he is entitled in stating his concerns publicly, because of his position as Archbishop of Westminster. The Tablet is also entitled to interpret this according to their own world-view. And the rest of us who are loyal to the Magisterium, but are enjoying the fruits of Summorum Pontificum need not lose any sleep over it - but can await, in joyful expectation, a thorough fisking of the said article in the Catholic Herald.

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

I like both of these comments...

BJR said...

My understanding is that the article is essentially correct and that the LMS has been warned that it must accept the Ordinary Form of the one Roman rite by the Archbishop.

Time will tell whether he has to take any action against the LMS or disobedient clergy.

gemoftheocean said...

Actually, I find Fr. Z's so-called "fisk" to be just as annoying as the Tablet.
(his comments on the Tablet article quoted here are the ones in brackets)

" was the absence of any role for the laity. [Rather boring, no? They have little comprehension about what authentic active participation is. And so they mouth weary clichés… like this one…] "

He himself falls into the trap of setting the EF form as the only way of "authentically" participating. Can't he admit that there is more than one way of skining a cat? Yes, you can sit on your butt, count your beads and be participating. A lay person also might have the participating by dooing a reading, etc. It seems to me like Fr. Z. is guilty of the same "sin" he is impugning of others. I.E. *his* way is so obviously the only right way of "authentically" actively participating.

Next: [Tablet]
"in practice this meant many of them concentrated on their own private devotions."

GOTO: They did! I was pleased to see that at the parish I regularly attend on weekdays which does TLM exclusively, that the daily Mass goers DO use a missal. Such was NOT the case back in the "golden days." [yes, I said that ironically.]

"Archbishop Nichols insists it is an “established principle of good liturgy” to encourage the active participation of all those taking part in the Mass, a principle needing “careful consideration and application by every celebrant”. [Every word of which is applicable to both forms. But watch this risibly titanic leap coming up!] Implicit [yah.. implicit… so implict that it isn’t really there…] in this directive is the rejection of any [wait for it…] discrimination against girls and women among those who assist at Mass, such as altar servers, readers and extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. [Did you get that? They fall into the trap of an ugly sort of clericalism. First, it is not necessary to be a minister at the altar in order to "assist at Mass". Any person, even the cripple old lady with limited hearing and sight, who can’t carry stuff around, is assiting at Mass because she is baptized and she has united her heart to the sacred action she can neither hear nor see. The Tablet is promoting an ugly clericalism by saying that unless lay people do what priests do, then they are somehow not able to participate. Shame on them!]

Any BETS that hell would freeze over before Fr. Z. would allow a girl to serve at a Latin Mass?
Remind there one canon law or two? One you say? Granted any priest, even in the NO can refuse to allow a woman or girl to serve (I think Fr. Blake is in this corner, if I am not mistaken) But one should pause to consider if the Latin Mass isn't going to be seen as some club for hoity toity Catholics, then perhaps it might be nice to start treating girls or woman as if they didn't have leprosy. I suspect Fr. Z.'s dearest wish is to forbid girls and women from serving at Mass in either form of Mass. Seriously, if I had daughters, I highly doubt that I would attend the EF exclusively. It has many fine attributes, but I would want to give my daughter a chance to serve Mass.

"That some Tridentinist ["-ist" HA HA!] priests have banished females from the sanctuary or lectern in the name of authenticity [HUH? That’s a new one.] has more than a whiff of misogyny. [Again… that little shriek of hysteria. What an unworthy blunder for a publication that for so long in the past had a good reputation.]"
Again, any takers on the bet that Fr. Z. would allow a woman or girl to serve a TLM Mass for him? Didn't think so. If I'm wrong, Please. Video. I'd be delighted to be proven wrong. As far as readers and EMs -- well, the EF doesn't have it set up for that to be the case for any layman or laywoman to do so. The high Mass might be a little tricky in that the subdeacon DOES read the epistle, and in theory there is such a thing as a "straw" subdeacon who could be a layman, and in theory (and practise) do that function.

Is the TLM a museum piece?
Just asking.

Jacobi said...

An equally valid interpretation would be

Archbishop Nichols supports the training of priests in the E.F.of the Mass
He accepts the equal co-validity of the E.F.
The view that the E.F. is deficient or invalid or marginal is false
People who hold this view, are inexorably distancing themselves from the Church.
The Archbishop gives no encouragement to those who wish to have the E.F. suppressed or sidelined

The Tablet makes two further mistakes.
The priest can choose which form of the Mass to use. If this causes problems, then the Bishop should resolve them.
The laity in the E.F. do fully participate e.g. in the singing of the responses, the Gloria, etc, as well as closely following the Mass. This I know from my once-a-month attendance at the E.F.

bernadette said...

Well, Karen, I never thougbt I'd find myself agreeing with you, but yes, I think I do agree.

Fr Z's Fisk is most unhelpful, confusing and in itself, divisive. He is clearly ministering to a consolidated, confident, self- assured, isolated group which has the EF as its cause celebre.

The rest of us are trying to live as Orthodox Catholics within Parish communities, obeying the Holy Father AND trying to be absorbed into parish life. We even love the EF, when it appears. Yet a square peg into a circle does not fit.... But we battle on... so, I, along with many Catholics, find Fr Z's posts really really unhelpful, as an ordinary Catholic in E and W.

Where is his own parish, incidentally ? It must be a perfect model based on the ideology he preaches. I'd sign up tomorrow if I thought it actually existed.

Sorry to be so waspish but, really, most of us are asking:
"Who the hell does he think he is ?"

I invite you to spend a fortnight in a normal parish in England and Wales Fr Z and see if you still occupy the same high ground then as you do now. The rest of us have to endure it, week in week out, so, you may as well have the glorious chance to to try it out yourself for a week or two......

I have a spare room in my house... several in fact. You're more than welcome, anytime any day.

No, we're not holding our breath....

gemoftheocean said...

BTW, I would have posted that to Fr. "Z"'s blog...but now he seems to have taken inspiration from the Obominator in making people register? Sheesh. I don't mind people deleting comments they deem inappropriate (and in the case of a priest I can see why a priest might want to delay posting) -- but it's like doesn't he realize that anyone can create a new screen name with gmail or anything else, and simply move to a new wifi hotspot? so what's the POINT of doing the little control freak thing? I don't get it....

Dilly said...

By lumping all "Latin Mass Supporters" together, and implying that they are heading for schism, the Tablet are being very offensive to priests such as Fr Blake who integrate the EF into their weekly schedule. I also think they have used Abp Nicholls' words very selectively, to promote their own views which do not necessarily coincide with his own opinions - and I doubt that this will be conducive to a good relationship with the new regime at Westminster - human nature being what it is.

Sadie Vacantist said...

When I was a child girls never served on the altar and it wasn't because they had leprosy.

Sadie Vacantist said...

1) The LMS has outlived its purpose.

2) Because of BXVI's (forced?) use of Vatican II speak within the SP, it has resulted in the document being "intepreted" to mean anything a bishop wants it to mean.

3) If the current liturgy is not deficient why are we getting another translation?

4) I suspect that Fellay is right that we have 30-40 more years of liturgical shambles in our parishes.

5) The Catholic church's recent evolution has been driven by secular politics: "I want my daughter to serve on the altar".

6) The secular World (and international situation) can change very rapidly and God knows what might lay ahead of us especially if "Tea parties" break out across the USA.

BJR said...


Another excellent analysis. Indeed there is one Code of Canon Law in force, that of 1983. Some people don't help their case at all by pretending otherwise.

Clearly the law of the Church is such that a priest may celebrate the EF and make use of female altar servers. One rite with two forms - the same rules apply.

gemoftheocean said...

Sadie, boys don't serve "on the altar" either, because Father would throw them the heck off. In the sanctuary, maybe, but NOT on the altar....

["pet peeve"]

BJR, thanks.

I've found great benefit to the low Mass EF on weekdays (personally, it doesn't have enough "oomph" for me on a Sunday, because my thought is "include me in on the Confiteor etc. " for my own taste it IS a little too spectator like - but that's me.]

I think in a "normal" parish setting it would be greeted better if the powers that be didn't pretend like we're going back to '62 with anachonistically long draggy dresses for the woman and the "shut up and sit in the corner" feel to it that these things *can* come off as having. Not that they all do, but it all depends on the attitude. The responses are so minimal in the EF form, that I really want "more" on a Sunday... Next weekend, because the Sunday evening Mass is now being overrun with "hootenany" people on Sunday night, I think instead of the EF form, I'll hie on over to the Byzantines. I can't see much for squat of the consecration there either...HOWEVER, I think they have the best interacting between priest in people of any of the liturgies I go to. And the priest looks at us a lot more, especially during the gospel. I really dislike that "let us look at the mythyical barbarians to the north" deal the EF form pulls.

The "silent canon" isn't really something I want on a Sunday! The Byzantines will let me hear the words of the canon, as opposed to the chorus of barking dogs/ice cream trucks/crying children/foghorn that I've heard at an EF. And I get to say some great prayers aloud with the congregation.

Dave Deavel said...

I don't think the analysis by Karen is all that hot.

Why can one not believe that the newer form is deficient? I don't say "valid," but what principle forbids one from saying that there are problems? Decisions by popes or councils in the realm of practice are to be respected, but they are not infallible. Many clearly say the older form is "deficient"--are they to be punished? The defenders of "freedom of thought" in the Church never seem to want one to think things that are permissible, but only those things that are impermissible.

That one "may" take options available in current canon law does not mean they "must." Thus one who thinks the option is not the best is not unfaithful, as is implied. All the commenter has done is an ad hominem argument--Fr. Z and others who disapprove of altar girls think they have "leprosy."

I'm not a traditionalist myself--my parish has altar girls and all the rest--but I become ever more sympathetic with them when I read comments like the above.

For many of us, altar girls aren't the only problem with modern liturgical practice. Lay adults who constantly want to be doing something up front are equally problematic.

Finally, I agree about Fr. Z's practice of "registering" being annoying, but he has a lot of traffic and I wouldn't want to have to edit the comments he gets there.

Sadie Vacantist said...

I was an altar not a sanctuary server.

gemoftheocean said...

Dave, I am VERY much in favor of the EF as having the "better" [to my own taste] offertory and canon prayers. That's WHY I like it and why I find it of spiritual benefit to me. [Not that the UA is by any means "invalid" -- but I think the EF form is much richer -- just TRY and get EP I at the average parish on a Sunday and you'd be hard pressed to find this.] ALso the offertory prayers are very denuded in the OF. So I'm not at all unsympathetic. What I'm saying about EMs, Lectors, Servers is that if ONE sex gets to do it, then they both should. That's all. The layMAN shouldn't have any advantage over the LayWOMAN in either form of Mass (though the EF doesn't have EMs or Lectors and doesn't have such provision.)

What I find obnoxious about Fr. Z's "Fisk" is that he is pretending to NOT see that practioners of the EF form seem to have formed a "Golden secret handshake club" in that AFAIK NONE of them in practise women or girls to serve the EF Mass. Can ANYONE out there give me just ONE example of where females, as a matter of course, also serve the EF form? He's crying "hysterica" over what, in fact, is a TRUE statement. Show me ONE place where the priest says an EF Mass and has a female server, and you've proven me wrong.

Last year, TLM in England CANCELLED a Mass at Westminster Cathedral because [whimper, whimper] there was going to be a female amongst the servers. Very stupid of them, I think. Fr. Z is acting like this sort of thing doesn't happen, when it's clear it does.

He won't be upfront about it. That and his "authentic participation" remark as if HIS preference for how the people participate is the ONLY way. Yes, it's wrong to say that people who don't want to respond or follow the Mass prayers "aren't participating" categorically -- but it's not "wrong" of people to want to do the responses, etc. either. I happen to think that that was is equally "authentic." Why does the EF form of the Mass *NOW* seem to favor the BARE minimum of responses for the laity? There were 3 ways of doing a dialogue Mass -- and yet Fr. Z's folks seem to have a hissy fit if some would prefer the fullest form of that...i.e. ALL the server's responses, or at least a good portion of them including the Gloria, etc.

Really, reading Fr. Z is sometimes like watching the Obama crowd who ridicule those who aren't in lockstep as regards for his plans to foist his version of health care. The attitude seems to be "Gee, can't criticize Fr. Z. because he ridiculed something."

And from experience I know he has a very short trigger finger for toleration of dissent on his blog. There's one IP address I simply can't connect from. I happen to know it was because of a remark I once made when connected to it. He often lets slide nasty cracks about women/girls but let someone make a crack about the men, and suddenly he becomes "Fr. like-white-on-rice" on the comments. Awfully thin skinned.

Just sayin'.

Now Fr. Blake, bless his soul, I know is in the camp of only feeling comfortable with male servers. So be it, it's his right. But he doesn't make sneering comments, or let stand, those comments which rip on women.

I'd still break for Fr. Blake in a heartbeat.

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