Friday, July 12, 2013

Dr Rowland in context on 'politico-theological baggage' of the EF

Fr Abberton posted this video of Dr Tracey Rowland who gave what many people said was an outstanding talk Liturgia Sacra Conference in Rome on “The Usus Antiquior and the New Evangelisation”. One of things she said was that 'Ordinary Catholics do not want to feel as though in attending the usus antiquior they are making a political stand against the Second Vatican Council', she had also complained about the 'politico-theological baggage' that is associated with the Ancient Mass.

 This video seem to be a before or after the talk interview, not meant to stand alone, it is obviously a 'selected clip. However it is good to see a few illustrations of what she was talking about as 'politico-theological baggage': a) aestheticism, making the Mass into a rubrical or artistic rather than spiritual experience, criticising details b) oddly dressed attendees, I have been to places where those at the traditional Mass do tend to look like the supporting cast of Downton Abbey or Brideshead, c) allowing the Mass to be used as means to criticise or even oppose Vatican II, even when understood in an orthodox way.

I think that Dr Rowland might have added a socio-political stance too. In some parts of the States I am told that it appeared everyone at a Traditional Mass was a pro-gun, anti-immigration, home-schooling, anti-Obama, pro-Sarah Palin, tea-partying, potential member of the Klu Klux Klan. In the UK it could be argued the Traditional Mass belongs to a certain class but obviously not in Brighton.

Brighton Latin Mass attendees discussing Fortescue on the solita oscula in a low Mass after 1962 and the aesthetics of Fr Ray's Latin pronunciation, 2 out of 3 prefer it the 'low voice'.
h/t Linen

Now people are checking it looks as though I am going to have to stop using the traditional parish car, it can just stay waxed in the garage.*{]:~)]


Amfortas said...

'In some parts of the States I am told that it appeared everyone at a Traditional Mass was a pro-gun, anti-immigration, home-schooling, anti-Obama, pro-Sarah Palin, tea-partying, potential member of the Klu Klux Klan.'

Now which blogging priest does that bring to mind? Only kidding!

Cosmos said...

"In some parts of the States I am told that it appeared everyone at a Traditional Mass was a pro-gun, anti-immigration, home-schooling, anti-Obama, pro-Sarah Palin, tea-partying, potential member of the Klu Klux Klan."

It's hard to not hear this line as echoing, "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?"

Is it any wonder that the Church is in dire straits? Know thine enemy! The statist, atheist elites who push all the causes of the left are not Christ's friends. At least these nerdy, conservative, Americans are not intentionally undermining God and nature's laws as stated politcal goals. They may not get the nod from the cool kids--and they are certainly not perfect--but at least they are not trying to re-create the world without God.

The message seems to be if you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt and rally for abortion on-demand, you are authentic, if misinformed. Christ is reaching out to you! If you wear a long-skirt and keep a shotgun in your closet for self-defense, you are a pathetic reactionary. The Church is better off without you. Christ sees you as a Pharisee.

Right now, a lot of sheep are without shepherds. Is it any wonder that their attempts at not being defined by this world come off badly? Maybe when their shepherds stop frantically establishing their bona fides with the world, and start teaching the whole deposit of faith again, they'll get their acts together.

Jacobi said...

Many ordinary Catholics are taking a stand when they support the Latin Mass - but not against Vatican II.

Rather they are against the liberal/Modernist post-Vatican II distortion of the liturgy which sought to present the Mass as a commemorative meal in the Protestant sense. However, Protestant services, in my experience are not followed by the sudden outburst of chatter and gossip, often backs to the Reserved Sacrament on the altar, such as I see in my church.

The reality is that for most post-Vatican II Catholics, the understanding of the Sacrifice of the Mass and the Real Presence have diminished or even disappeared – just as the Reformers intended.

As for clothes well the scruffy male dress, which most would never dream of wearing at the office or on business calls, and the often rather exposed females, common in our churches on Sunday morning, are hardly a good example.

The stand that Latin Mass attenders are taking is rather for two millennia of the Catholic Mass as the Un-blooded Re-enactment of the Redeeming Sacrifice of Christ on the Cross for the Redemption of Mankind.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to mention that, although perhaps once true that American conservatism was a xenophobic white man's preserve, mainstream conservatives now regard racism with as much abhorrence as anyone else. Indeed, in my experience, I have encountered right-wing racial hatred in about equal measure as left-wing racial condescension, both those rarely, and essentially never from Catholics of any liturgical persuasion.

All that said, I don't disagree with Dr. Rowland all that much. However, I think Summorum Pontificum has already gone a long way to removing those stigmas (stigmata?) simply by showing that the Pope himself had no problem with the old Mass.

Anonymous said...

Personally although I remember what is now the 'EF' with much affection as forming the Faith of my childhood,where the 'New Mass' has not been butchered as in the odd parish (eg The Holy Family, Sanderstead) and is celebrated reverently with the Altar rails, kneeling for Communion and the Communion plate retained - in Latin regularily as well as English, I find the Faith I love expressed naturally as it ever was. As well as keeping the beauty of the EF as part of our treasury I think that we need to urgently realign the Novus Ordo to what was really the intended outcome of it's introduction. It is not the Mass itself which is at fault, it is the disobedient personalised abuse brought in by the arrogance and sometimed deliberate 'protantisation' of those who should have lead forward rather than astray.

PM said...

The USA can be a world unto itself, but a good many perfectly orthodox Catholics elsewhere (including every Pope I can remember) find the image of Our Lord as a gun-slinging social darwinst forerunner of Ayn Rand a bit hard to swallow.

Supertradmum said...

Sorry, but the English Catholic does not understand the American Catholic. We are the Church Militant and fiercely independent minded. One cannot separate Church and State either, and we are not socialists, but either true democratics, or better yet, supporting the Republic, or monarchists. Most American TLM people are also the backbones of the local pro-life activities, as well as the food banks etc. Very active. And, they tithe.

As to dress, I am so sick of people ignoring the fact that modesty is actually a virtue. Mothers have a duty to teach their children both modesty and appropriate dress. One of the saddest things of the past two generations-Gen X and Millenials, is that they do not understand appropriateness in dress or behavior, and have no social boundaries.

As to politics, one cannot be a socialist and a Catholic as one Pope stated. And, as several bishops have noted, those who voted for the present president needed to consider their immortal souls.

The TLM people in many places in America (I have lived in 23 states)are serious about Faith in the public square and are working hard to keep religious freedom in a country which is fastly returning to the KKK and Know-Nothing anti-Catholicism.

Amfortas said...

In another place Father Z starts a post with the words 'Homosexuals often commit the most physically brutal crimes that the police see'.
Maybe I wasn't kidding after all.

Jonathan said...

"Ordinary Catholics do not want to feel as though in attending the usus antiquior they are making a political stand against the Second Vatican Council"

Some of these criticisms are too picky. Perhaps some people at usus antiquior masses are making that stand. I think it is much more common and a much greater fault that at so many new masses the priest and congregation are making a stand against the Church's teaching.

Novian said...

Describing an American Catholic as a "potential member of the Klu [sic] Klux Klan" is as offensive and as absurd as describing an Irish Catholic as a "potential Orangeman". Your source on American traditionalists is woefully ignorant.

Amfortas said...

smn, I think the words were a caricature to make a point. No one is really suggesting what you think they're suggesting. The UK and the US really are different planets!

Sadie Vacantist said...

Curiously, ex-KKK boss David Duke is less hostile to Catholics than one might reasonably expect.

The problem of Vatican II was essentially an American one and not that of Germany or the Rhine countries. The tiresome analysis from traditionalists - "The Rhine flows into the Tiber" school - simply misses out on this. Germany was important at Vatican II for the following reasons: it was conquered, devastated, Americanised and still occupied. Even its excellent trades union laws had been written by the "anglos" and its gold remains stored in our banks to this day.

Vatican II was a disaster waiting to happen.

George said...

Trads are lost, afloat in a sea of confusion. Cut them some slack.

With regard to dress - dressing modestly, while at the same time looking smart and current, takes money. The majority of Trads are not well off. Couple their limited incomes with the 7, 8, 9+ children and that's a recipe for dressing fairly dumpy. Again, let's cut them some slack.

Physiocrat said...

From the pew, there is little difference between the Extraordinary Form Mass and the Novus Ordo Mass celebrated in accordance with the Missa Normativa, with the proper sung from the Graduale Romanum, though the older form works slightly better as liturgy.

However, in view of the political baggage that has gathered around the EF, it might be better to celebrate the Novus Ordo in the form that makes it as close as possible to the EF - with is what has been done at the London Oratory since the NO was introduced.

The differences from the EF are primarily experienced by the celebrant, and in the present circumstances the best thing could be on the one hand to be discrete eg celebrate it on weekdays, and on the other to use it on special occasions eg diocesan events, when many people are likely to be present, the latter with the aim of bringing it back into the mainstream.

gemoftheocean said...

Anyone not anti-Obama is NOT a practicing Catholic. Period. Full stop. He is an anti-Christ. Amfortas is obviously getting news from BBC, which is an arm of Satan. they couldn't get the story right if you wrote it for them.

My only gripe about some TLM goers in the US is a fair portion of the women somehow think throwback style to pre-Vatican II mean "little house on the prairie" ugly long skirts, tent lie blouses, no makeup, hairy legs, and white socks in birkenstocks. Ugh. The boys usually look fairly normal (except for some of them whose mothers think white socks go with a dress suit and it's fun to dress all the boys from 3-18 up in the same nauseating bottle green suits) - but I feel sorry for the girls who are trapped in their mother's purgatory/hell of "fashion" as an attempt to be "modest." Such girls will occasionally become nuns, but more likely to be seen on the back of a Hell's Angels bike sporting ugly tats within a few years of escaping mother.

gemoftheocean said...

George, families back in the 40s-60s managed to dress nicely without looking dumpy or like scarecrows. Slapping a wretching peptobismal pink or windex blue "mantilla" on your five year old's head and dressing her in a long dumpy to the ground skirt is just making her look stupid, not "modest."

Families were larger then but they managed not to look like refugees headed to fashion felony camp. Leaf through old Life magazines and articles on churches back then and take a look at what people were wearing. Nice, not "frumpy." Skirts were KNEE length for younger girls since the 20s and for the women knee/calf length as well though depending on style and era. Certainly not sack like dragging on floor. And far from the mantilla craze at tlm now, you were more more apt to see hats. Mantillas didn't really predominate much until Jackie Kennedy.

Jeremiah Methuselah said...

Two Points, No, make it three.

1. It seems some people have plenty time to take a good look around during Holy Mass at the congregation to note who is wearing what. It’s not exactly top of the list of things to do when assisting at ANY Mass, not in my book certainly. Eyes front, or down, in humility.

2. It’s a fact that some people, very misguidedly - and I am thinking mainly of the female sex - wear beach gear -type clothing when they come to celebrate the most important event of the week. Often, miles from a beach. Men are not far behind either. It’s bad enough on the streets and in the workplace, but inside church, No, never. What’s the matter with these people ?

It happens because the many Catholic virtues, in this case modesty, are laughed at, completely old-fashioned, no longer relevant. What happened to the twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost : Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Benignity, Goodness, Longanimity, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, Chastity ? Are these still taught in schools ? At home ?

3. Another reason why people wear clothes which are not exactly haute couture may well be they don’t have the bucks to spend on themselves. Leastways, that’s what I remember of my own parents, who would not have wanted to join the absurd fashion spectacle which can be seen in so many churches every Sunday even if they could afford it.

Maybe the learned professor lives in blithe ignorance of some of the realities of Catholic life, but OTH, maybe, she also has a fairly well-defined political agenda ?

Just asking.

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