Thursday, July 31, 2014

Man stuff

I am not sure I believe what many traditional Catholics say about the old Mass being more appealing to men, than the new. Lace and brocade certainly have a superficial appeal to a small percentage, the historical 'rootedness' and symbolism to a larger percentage. What is pretty obvious is that men don't come to Mass, and possibly working class men come less than other men. When men do come to the old Mass, some at least seem to respond to it in a rather amazing way, it sets light to their faith. 
In some parishes it seems that lectors and everyone else on the sanctuary, except the priest, are women or girls, and that in our Catholic schools the majority of our teachers are women, especially in our Primary Schools. In that sense the Church of today is really, if not feminine, it is dominated at parish and diocesan level by women. I think that accounts in many ways for the breach between the 'local Church' and what is invariably nowadays called the 'institutional Church'. The faith is invariably transmitted through feminine perspective.
After the first celebration of the Novus Ordo at the end of the Council Card Heenan famously said that men of England wouldn't put up with what the Council Fathers had just witnessed in the Sistine Chapel, but his complaint was actually not about the changed liturgy but the chanting and psalm singing, something above the normal fair of Englishmen: Low Mass, Mass in its simplest and most unadorned form, a reasonably brief and peremptory Rite.
As a man, I hate fuss. I like clarity, yes I respond to beauty, like the well designed lines of a piece of efficient machinery, which is why I like High Mass. I prefer Trooping of the Colour to the ballet, a Beethoven quartet to symphony, a classical painting to a piece of Cubism, a Modrian painting to a Jason Perry tapestry. 
I suspect like most men I could well be descried slightly autistic, I prefer the clarity of a legal document to the airy- fairiness of the Spirit of ... Give me the Canons of any Council rather than the pages of canonised ambiguity and contradiction, give me the hard edge of Thomas or Bonaventure rather than the fluffiness of modern feminist theologians.
I remember a sermon once on the healing of the Centurion's servant, in which preacher compared the Centiturion to Our Lady, the Centurion want orders, Our Lady was willing to 'ponder these things in her heart', we men do ponder but against clear guidelines of 'do this', 'do that', I remember a young man at Sandhurst, who loved all that marching up and down because it gave him the chance to pray, obeying orders came naturally to him,

The Lectionary of the Old Rite certainly seems to be clearer than that of the New, quite a lot about the evils of fornication and unchastity in the Epistles, and quite a lot about how to live a 'good' life in the Gospels, whereas the New Rite Lectionary, certainly on Sundays, presents morally ambiguous extracts from the Old Testament, a rather massaged series of extracts from the Epistles and Gospels. The theology is different, the selection of readings rather than organically developing over centuries gives us a very definite 'Christ of the Council', or at a least a Christ, a Christology and Ecclesiology taken from the decade or so over which the Lectionary was compiled and of those involved in its manufacturing. It comes from a time when ambiguity was fashionable, the Christ that is presented to us is ambiguous, or at least it is different from the morally and theogically directive Christ of the old Lectionary. That is not surprising considering the old Lectionary came into being in a time of real theological debate and ecclesial growth whilst the new Lectionary was put together by men who were essentially conciliatory towards what was then the 'modern world'.

I am not suggesting the Lectionary is 'unmanly' but the Christ it presents is of its time. Dr Shaw, interestingly, says of Pope Francis that he isn't interested in  philosophy or the theology, that he is essentially a politician. I think that is a fair description. In that sense I think he is indeed a conciliatory Pope. The words of Cardinal Kaspar, "the Pope's theologian" ring true in this context, when he speaks about ordinary Christians not being given to heroism, “But it's a heroic act, and heroism is not for the average Christian.” It is this absence of heroism that seems to be problematic for men (and boys) today. My Muslim friends, who are not wild sword wielding Islamic terrorists, see Christianity as wimpish and unmanly: The effeteness of the West, the destruction of the family, sexual ambiguity, amorality, materialism they put down to Christianity. Islam presents manliness in terms of heroism, a man is someone willing to die to defend his faith, his family and his country. A true man despite other pressures will pray five times a day and fast strictly during Ramadan. He will submit to the will of God and teach his family and neighbours to do the same. 
The post-Concilliar Chuch is very much one of, "Who am I to judge", it is seen as morally ambiguous: "gentle Jesus meek and mild" puts up with and accepts everything and anything, except and absence of gentleness, meekness and mildness, for most men this is profoundly unsatisfying.and is more likely to savage or criticise members of his household than act as leaven or source of change. >It is this kind of conciliatoriness that the Church n this country has been pushing for decades t has led to social acceptance, and reasonable relationships with those in power and the 'Establishment' but it has actually lost any power to change society, an often alienates its most committed members and leaves confused and ill informed those less committed, most especially men.


philipjohnson said...

well said father!!2017 is the centenary of the fatima apparitions.we have three years to get things back on the true road of the mystical body of christ.this bishop of rome is a hinderance to tradition-it will be tradition that will save the church in the end.providence is in motion at the moment and our lady will save us in the end .we want certainty not the ambiguous ramblings of the bishop of rome and his hippy acolytes.our lady of fatima pray for us.god bless.philip johnson.

Unknown said...

Are you *currently* being sent into Hell forever ... automatically excommunicated (outside) of God’s Catholic Church ?

Answer: Yes you are ... you can reverse it ... please continue.

Council of Florence, Session 8, 22 Nov 1439 -- infallible Source of Dogma >
"Whoever wills to be saved, before all things it is necessary that he holds the Catholic faith. Unless a person keeps this faith whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish eternally."

You must believe the Catholic Dogma to be in the Church ... Dogma you have *never* seen.

Site > ... infallible Dogma throughout.

The Catholic Faith *is not* Bible interpretation ... it is the Catholic infallible Sources of Dogma. The Catholic Church didn’t even define the Bible’s New Testament Canon until 397 A.D. at the Council of Carthage.

- - - -

Can a group which enforces the opposite, the opposite, and the opposite of the Catholic unchangeable Dogma be the Catholic Church?

No, it cannot possibly be the Catholic Church ... and promotion of the opposite of the Catholic Dogma is exactly what the vatican-2 heretic cult does ... and has been doing since it’s founding on 8 December 1965 at the Vatican.

The vatican-2 heresy does not have the Office of the Papacy ... only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

The Dogma cannot “change” or be “reversed” ... God does not “change”.

The founding documents of the vatican-2 heretic cult … the “vatican-2 council” documents … have well over 200 heresies *against* prior defined unchangeable Dogma. Every (apparent) bishop at the “council” approved the mountain of heresy, which caused their automatic excommunication, see Section 13.2 of the below site.

- - - -

Section 12 > Anti-Christ vatican-2 heresies (50 listed) ... followed by many Catholic corrections.

Sections 13 and 13.1 > Photographic *proof* of heresy at the Vatican.

Because of … the Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or for physical participation in a heretic cult (such as the v-2 cult) …

… we were all placed, body and soul, *outside* of Christianity (the Catholic Church) on 8 December 1965 … the close date of the “council”.

Section 13.2 > Catholic Dogma on automatic excommunication for heresy or participating in a heretic cult such as ... vatican-2, lutheran, methodist, evangelical, etc.

Section 107 > St. Athanasius (died 373 A.D.) ... “Even if the Church were reduced to a handful ...” - - during the “arian” heresy ... we are there again, but worse.

Section 13.3 > Matt 16:18, Gates of Hell scripture ... is *not* about the Office of the Papacy ... four Dogmatic Councils defined it ... that heresy will not cause the Dogma to disappear.

Section 13.4 > The vatican-2 heretic cult does not have the Office of the Papacy only the Catholic Church has the Papacy.

Section 13.6 > The Catholic Dogma on Jurisdiction and Automatic Excommunication for heresy define that ... God has allowed Catholic Jurisdiction ... for Mass and Confession to disappear from the world. There is no such thing as Catholic Mass outside of the Catholic Church.

Non-Catholic heresies such as “vatican-2”, “sspx”, “sspv”, “cmri”, etc. ... do not have Catholic Mass.

Section 19.1 > Dogma on Abjuration for *re-entering* Christianity (the Catholic Church) … after being automatically excommunicated. A Formal Abjuration is provided here also.

Section 10.2 > Returning to a state of grace, in places and times when Confession is not available, like now.

- - - -

Second Council of Constantinople, 553 A.D. -- infallible Source of Dogma >
"The heretic, even though he has not been condemned formally by any individual, in reality brings anathema on himself, having cut himself off from the way of truth by his heresy."

Blessed John Eudes, died 1680 >
“The greatest evil existing today is heresy, an infernal rage which hurls countless souls into eternal damnation.”

Everything you must know, believe, and do to get to Heaven is on > >

Our Lady of Conquest
Pray for us

Jacobi said...


I am old enough to remember the pre-Vatican II Church. Men were fully represented, close to 50%, and that in a large Jesuit city centre Church in a working class area. Additionally during National Service, in a large base in Northern Germany, Sunday Mass at the army church was full with officer and other ranks all well represented. I don’t know if it was manly then, we just never even thought of that, but men certainly went to Mass, in Latin of course!

Last Sunday at Mass the various bodies scurrying about the sanctuary were mostly female, as was the choir. The predominantly elderly ageing congregation were overwhelmingly female. I did not see one single young male, shall we say, between eighteen and forty, and I notice these things. As an I think I have said before, as a life- long amateur ornithologist, I cannot help but note and count!

Occasionally I manage a Vetus Ordo. The congregation is about 50/50 with recently, a growing number of children.

Katharine B. said...

My husband converted after attending the Latin Mass in part because of its manliness.
Nothing grates on my ears more in the novus ordo than a woman's voice reading the words written by the manly men of the Bible.

Romulus said...

It is certainly the case that the O-Form is feminized in comparison to the X-Form. The new mass is less structured. It has far more options, which the celebrant is encouraged to utilize. The OF is user-friendly, approachable, and chatty. The EF on the other hand is remote, silent, hierarchical, harder to know, and highly structured. The use of lace and brocade are not inherently unmanly as anyone who knows a little history understands. Indeed, the complexity and abundance of liturgical vestments in the EF is a great attractor to men, along with the equipage in general, which is far more extensive than usually encountered in the O-Form. It's not about dressing and accessorizing, as critics usually say. It's about gear -- the right gear for every contingency. Anyone who knows men knows that men dearly love gear.

gemoftheocean said...

Katherine, so I take it you never read the bible out loud to anyI children you have. Pity.

Jacobi, the skew in the US is different. It's at least 45% men. You don't see as many young 20 year olds, but when they marry and start having kids you see the uptick in that demographic.

Gungarius said...

I think it is more accurate to say that the EF **LOW** Mass appeals more to men than the Novus Ordo.

We have both OF and EF in my parish, EF almost always low Mass. My daughters are happy enough to go to the new rite, however my nine year old son moans if he has to go to O.F. and plays up while at it. Says he does not like it, too much noise and doing things.

Recently attended O.F. with him for first time in a while and, feeling I ought to not be a gradgrind, offered my hand to shake at sign of peace. "No thank you Daddy, I don't like doing that"

(Sung Mass takes too long and the incence makes him cough, so he dosent like that much).

I'm afraid Cardinal Heenan was spot on. I fear had we only had the new rite he would have lost interest and be well on the way to lapsing by now.

PS - Decorated cottas - Ugh! You wont catch me wearing one.

Nicolas Bellord said...

I agree about the feminisation of the Church as being a big problem but one of the things that is lacking in to-day's church is the sense of drama of what it is all about. The knowledge that hell is a reality, that purgatory can be long and unpleasant if you have not practised the virtues etc. It is the sheer drama of what we face that is never mentioned and the whole thing becomes so insipid one wonders why one should bother. There is no need to bother about things like abortion because in the end an all merciful God will forgive them. Well I do not believe that He will unless they repent and there is precious little suggestion from the hierarchy that they should repent. Look what happened to Bishop Egan when he suggested that certain MPs who had voted in favour of immoral practices should be refused communion.

Jacobi said...

@ Gemoftheocean

I should have said that there are about 3/4 regular families, parents in their 40/50s. The sad things is that beyond a certain age,15/16, the youngsters disappear.

Mark you its a small sample and probabaly not statistically significant,but nevertheless, an indication.

Unknown said...

I agree completely with you, Father. Incidentally, one of the best descriptions of the pre-Vatican II image of the priest is in Ian Ker's, The Catholic Revival in English Literature, which includes a discussion of Evelyn Waugh's depictions of the priest in Sword of Honour and other works.

John Nolan said...

Interestingly there have been RC padres in Afghanistan (both British and American) who celebrate the EF and find that the young squaddies are attracted to it - it is ordered and soldierly and in complete contrast to the feminized touchy-feely 'liturgies' they are exposed to at home.

When I was a child there were no 'children's liturgies' (thank God) and as soon as I could walk I was taken to the Missa Cantata by my father. As soon as I could, I served Mass (aged 8, 1959) and felt privileged to take part in such important and grown-up things. I remember after early morning Mass in the depth of winter the curate would send us off with a sip of communion wine to keep the cold out.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Low Mass for a man is a bit like spending forty minutes on his own in the shed.

Православный физик said...

Well said Father, I must say though, for myself, I'm attracted more to the Solemn Mass than I am "Low Mass" probably because of my if you're going to do something, do it well mentality...

gemoftheocean said...

I'm old enough to remember the Latin Mass the first time around. To be honest, I think some of the appeal was that the low mass WAs a straight forward wham bam in and out. It wasn't unusual to be in and out, even with a Sunday sermon in 45 minutes. Particularly the earlier services of the day. My mother, who was normally loath to rise early, would often get up herself to go to the earliest mass, so she could be done and get the pot roast on. She had to be careful if a certain Fr. Fromholtzer, he of the record breaking 17 minutes flat all-stars, was also known as speedy Gonzales. Because if you were 5-7 minutes late he was already at the offertory and you were just going to have to stay for the next one. By the time she was home, my dad and I would just be setting off a a more leisurely pace, but still home in an hour and that was walking both ways a few blocks to church. Men liked going early too so they could have dinner early then watch football games all afternoon. If you made the *fatal* mistake of oversleeping, you were "stuck" with the High Mass, with basically the priest's mother, and all the old folks and extra pious people who had an hour and a quarter to spare. And it was your own fault for oversleeping. I can remember some years after the NO came in my mother saying "it's always the same. They're going to take a whole damn hour whether they need to or not." This was her punishment for not going to the 7am mass, because if you didn't "they have to sing EVERYTHING" [And my mother was a daily communicant at that, under normal circumstances. Mercifully the NO daily Mass didn't have a lot of "extras." My mother's anniversary of death is coming up on the 8th - must do a nice blog post about her Sundays in a few days. As for dad? The longer the masses got the less he was inclined to go after I was in my mid teens and in no danger of lapsing myself.

GWright said...

Excellent article.

Men like the latin mass better because it is about worshipping God, its not about us and our feelings.

If God is really present in the Eucharist, then let us kneel before him an an altar rail. Don't lets treat him like a plate of digestive biscuits.

If we really are the Universal Church, then let us use a Universal language. Why erect artificial barriers between Catholics? Especially not with something so vulgar as vernacular languages.

The main reason for the popularity of the latin mass is that it represents the fullness of the Catholic faith and is in concert with the history of the Church. It does not appear to contradict what we believe, as the N.O does in so many ways (communion in hand etc).

Men like order, beauty, dignity, clarity, consistency, substance. The latin mass has these in spades. The typical N.O mass pans out more as being about us and our feelings.

It doesn't help the N.O cause that the typical parish church is inevitably dominated by rival cliques of elderly ladies. Or that the priest, one of few males present, is often either very aged or rather "light on his feet", if you know what I mean. None of all this is an appealing environment for men.

The traditional mass and environment is much more masculine and altogether more dignified and reverent. Much better.

Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi. If we really believe it, then lets do it. Don't lets mimic the protestants.

John Nolan said...

Gem, you remember it well! When my father took my brother and me as toddlers to the 11 o'clock Sung Mass, my mother would have already been to the 9 o'clock Low Mass and would have been cooking Sunday lunch (or dinner as we called it then). I loved the spectacle and the music (which was undoubtedly no great shakes but I do remember a group of men psalm-toning the Propers and everyone joining in with the Ordinary).

I became more familiar with the Low Mass when I started serving it. Urban myths of its being rushed through in twelve minutes are absurd. For a start, the priest has to conform at the beginning to the server's responses (and as a boy I was actually criticized for saying the Latin too quickly) and every Low Mass was concluded with the Leonine Prayers. Those who attended weekday Mass usually took Communion. Twenty minutes, perhaps, for a fairly brisk Low Mass.

By contrast, the Novus Ordo is so attenuated that it can indeed be rattled through in twelve minutes, which is why it has to be padded out with homilies, mini-homilies, lay readers slowly and portentously 'proclaiming' the Scriptures, artificial and imposed silences; all of which conspire to make it a monumental bore. Sing it in Latin with the chant (and other music) pertaining to it, plus the other ceremonies, and it becomes a different beast.

Sadly, few congregations are exposed to it.

Unknown said...

I’m afraid your position is of the 80’s, Father. We have moved on. The liturgy in whatever form is no longer relevant to modern man and Francis seems to understand this. He could call for the faith to be taught so that the faithful once again understand, but it is now abundantly clear that he wants to turn Catholic-lite into Catholic-tip-of-the-Hat.
Have you read his Tweets? “If faced with troubles, proceed calmly”. Only a few days ago he made a public apology to the Evangelicals and Pentecostals on behalf the Vatican for, “causing this break in the Church” Anyone that has the slightest knowledge of Catholic ecclesiology must have trembled when they heard that. It is beyond belief and quite false. The Evangelicals and Pentecostals did not break from the Church; they broke away from existing Protestant sects in the nineteenth century. And how can the Church be to blame for these people believing that they are, for one example, without sin and therefore ALREADY assured of heaven? Surely the charitable thing to do would have been to tell them the truth?
No wonder he is unconcerned that over 40,000,000 Catholic souls have been lost to these loony tunes in the last thirty years. It is clear, in his mind at least, that it makes no difference which “church” one belongs to. Clearly our Lord did not give him the intellectual wherewithal to take this position to its logical conclusion – they are therefore ALL worthless.

Supertradmum said...

I think all the discussion about whether real men are more attracted to the EF rather than the NO misses the problem with both men and the Mass.

First of all, people stop going to Church usually for one reason-sin. They rationalize, perhaps, and point to all types of reasons, like Fr. So and So's sermons, or the choir, but if one sins seriously, one falls into a darkness which can only be lifted by the sacrament of Confession. Ergo, men (and women) usually stop attending Mass not because of some aesthetic reason or even rational reason, but because they are drinking too much,fornicating or stealing from the co. purse, etc.

As to the Mass itself, the entire Mass scheduling conspires against men attending daily Mass. My dad use to go to daily Mass as a younger person (he is 91) because one was at 6:30 in the morning and he could go before work.

As to Sunday Mass, I do not see young women going either-old women, yes.

So the real problem is the lack of Faith and morals. God back to the basics.

One last thought is that the lack of belief in the Real Presence has something to do with low Mass attendance as well.

Men sin, stop going to Mass, etc...

What about home visits to the fallen away? What about the laity seeking out those who have stopped going?

That is also our job as baptized Catholics.

Liam Ronan said...

Now for some man-ic stuff:

"Vatican preparing a statement on extraterrestrial life"

Jeepers Batman!

Cosmos said...


I used to believe "the people sin, they rationalize, and then they leave" theory. Now I think its only half true.

The reality is that people feel no compulsion, outside or inside the Church, to believe in God or to believe in His judgment. He seems irrelevant. They neither believe nor disbelieve in Him strongly. If we'd rather sin, we might leave Church because it doesn't matter very much. But the lack of strong belief is already there.

The way the NO is performed, the emphasis on community, the failure to take hard stands on any contentious moral issues, the weak men who lead, all seem to confirm that its just not a big deal one way or another. They all tie together, especially for men, and point to its silliness.

It seems as if older women stay around because they are more interested in the communal aspect, and they don't find the liturgy and the effeminate priests as grating. Who knows?

Our Lady of Good Success-pray for us. said...

Someone said a while back that the Novus Ordo Mass is 'vulnerable to abuses'. I think this is true. We live in a time when we delude ourselves into believing that everyone should have access to every position - if we cannot ontologically be priests because we are women, by hell or high water we will feminize the priesthood to the point where ontological realities no longer 'matter' - only performativity. Ageing feminists seems to rule over most Novus Ordo parishes with a gnarled and frozen fist as if their club card depended on it. I have also noticed that the new mass is not particularly restorative of one's authentic Faith, but rather concessional - engendering a sort of 'opinionism' - permitting and even encouraging rejecting or modifying doctrine, discipline and especially liturgy to suit one's 'updated' opinions on what's 'appropriate' - it is not rock-like, but rather tomato-like. The Old Mass is very obviously the Eternal Sacrifice - it brings one into the Holy of Holies no matter how humble the means. The new mass seems to work very hard to dilute to the point of destroying the Holy of Holies. Plus the new missal is an unnatural burden. Years A, B, and C for confusion - a lot of fuss, to say the least. As for manliness and Christianity, the enemies of the Church have worked hard at making it appear impotent, and prelates have worked hard at convincing the faithful to be happy with this non-compunctive group hug. That great and very compunctive old Anglo-Saxon poem, the Dream of the Rood, knew that Christ is the ultimate warrior; His victory is over death itself. All other warriors are utterly weak and ineffective without His victory. Unless we claim that victory in union with Him upon His Rock, we make our choice, we belong to the defeated, to death - it doesn't help matters when the 'Rock' seeks to become all shifty and sandy, and deliberately self-defeating, though.

Jacobi said...

On this question of just how important it is to belong to the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, I would suggest that you all read Mortalium Animos by Pius XI, 1928.

He makes the situation quite clear.

Furthermore it is an Encyclical on a matter of Faith and Morals, addressed to the whole Church, and as such requires the willing assent of all, and I stress of all, Catholics.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

I was interested in John Nolan’s remark that young soldiers in Afghanistan are attracted to the EF Mass. Like John’ experience,, it was my father who took me to Sunday Mass when my brother was a baby. We had no Missa Cantata or High Mass in our parish in Dublin but on days such as Easter Monday and Whit Monday the churches of the religious orders all had High Mass and Dad used to take me along, something I didn’t quite appreciate at the time.

I remember a family friend, a recovering alcoholic, once express how he loved the ceremony attached to High Mass and Benediction.
Here in the Philippines the two roles that women have is to be readers and ‘commentators’ who tell people when to sit and stand, as if we were all three-year-olds. This is not part of the role of a commentator at all. And I don’t see any need whatever for a commentator to give a brief, prepared introduction to the readings, which the GIRM says is their (optional) role. It’s all ‘Words, words, words’, as Eliza Doolittle sings.

Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are all men, apart from some Religious Sisters. And there are very few female altar servers.
When I was ordained in 1967 the readings were already allowed in the vernacular. I have never celebrated Mass according to the Missal of 1962, that authorised by St John XXIII. I wonder if he could have ever imagined what would come six years after his death.

I have only once attended what we now call he EF Mass since then in 1990 or 1991 in Dublin, an authorized Mass, not an SSPX one. At the time it struck me as a ‘museum performance’, though I could see that the large congregation that included many young people participated fully and that for them it wasn’t a re-enactment of a ritual from the past.

The sad reality that with all the emphasis on ‘active participation’ in the OF Mass there is far less participation now since very few go to Mass now in countries such as Ireland and many in those countries have rejected the Christian faith. And in Latin America tens of millions have switched to various Protestant groups.

I would not see the EF Mass now as a ‘museum performance’. There are occasional celebrations of the EF Mass in the Philippines, though I’ve never been present at one. Lately I find myself longing to celebrate the Low Mass, which never took forty minutes, at least on a weekday, Sadie Vacantist.

Recently Cardinal Tagle of Manila reminded priests there not to be saying ‘Good Morning’ at the beginning of Mass. Some priests and people seem to think that the Mass is all about ‘Father’ instead of directed to The Father.

But it is possible to celebrate the OF Mass devoutly and I’ve seen a return to sobriety in my travels in recent years. There have been a couple of occasions, in Germany and Iceland, where I celebrated the OF Mass in Latin for religious communities who sung all the chants. This morning I celebrated the OF Mass ad orientem in a home for girls run by religious sisters. I sang the three main prayers of the Mass and also the Preface and Eucharistic Prayer II.

I usually say the offertory prayers quietly. We don’t have any singing at our weekday Masses.
I wouldn’t see using the choices available in the OF Mass as being a ‘feminine thing’. In the chapel where I celebrate weekday Masses, with a small congregation of mostly women, we rotate the three forms of the penitential rite and the acclamations after the Consecration, a week at a time. I use the Roman Canon more often that I suspect most priests do, especially on feasts of the saints mentioned in it.

But after all these years I see now what I didn’t see in the excitement after Vatican II when I welcomed much change – the widespread vandalism in churches, when altars were often destroyed and the result was like putting a moustache on the Mona Lisa. And the banal music, like constantly singing forgotten hits of the 1960s and 1970s.

But what appeals most to me is a simple, quiet Mass, following what the Missal allows.

Anonymous said...

GWright, well said. The Usus Antiquior truly represented the substance of the Faith, no contradictions. It helped strengthen one in the Faith and in the moral life. It is coherent in all respects, not discordant. It is true.

gemoftheocean said...

GWright: I've got a quibble about your phrase "lex orandi, lex credendi." It's illogical, for one thing.

Pius XII was critical of that notion. In Mediator Dei he said:
"46. On this subject We judge it Our duty to rectify an attitude with which you are doubtless familiar, Venerable Brethren. We refer to the error and fallacious reasoning of those who have claimed that the sacred liturgy is a kind of proving ground for the truths to be held of faith, meaning by this that the Church is obliged to declare such a doctrine sound when it is found to have produced fruits of piety and sanctity through the sacred rites of the liturgy, and to reject it otherwise. Hence the epigram, "Lex orandi, lex credendi" -- the law for prayer is the law for faith.

47. But this is not what the Church teaches and enjoins. The worship she offers to God, all good and great, is a continuous profession of Catholic faith and a continuous exercise of hope and charity, as Augustine puts it tersely. "God is to be worshipped," he says, "by faith, hope and charity."[44] In the sacred liturgy we profess the Catholic faith explicitly and openly, not only by the celebration of the mysteries, and by offering the holy sacrifice and administering the sacraments, but also by saying or singing the credo or Symbol of the faith -- it is indeed the sign and badge, as it were, of the Christian -- along with other texts, and likewise by the reading of holy scripture, written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The entire liturgy, therefore, has the Catholic faith for its content, inasmuch as it bears public witness to the faith of the Church.

48. For this reason, whenever there was question of defining a truth revealed by God, the Sovereign Pontiff and the Councils in their recourse to the "theological sources," as they are called, have not seldom drawn many an argument from this sacred science of the liturgy. For an example in point, Our predecessor of immortal memory, Pius IX, so argued when he proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. Similarly during the discussion of a doubtful or controversial truth, the Church and the Holy Fathers have not failed to look to the age-old and age-honored sacred rites for enlightenment. Hence the well-known and venerable maxim, "Legem credendi lex statuat supplicandi" -- let the rule for prayer determine the rule of belief.[45] The sacred liturgy, consequently, does not decide or determine independently and of itself what is of Catholic faith. More properly, since the liturgy is also a profession of eternal truths, and subject, as such, to the supreme teaching authority of the Church, it can supply proofs and testimony, quite clearly, of no little value, towards the determination of a particular point of Christian doctrine. But if one desires to differentiate and describe the relationship between faith and the sacred liturgy in absolute and general terms, it is perfectly correct to say, "Lex credendi legem statuat supplicandi" -- let the rule of belief determine the rule of prayer. The same holds true for the other theological virtues also, "In . . . fide, spe, caritate continuato desiderio semper oramus" -- we pray always, with constant yearning in faith, hope and charity.[46]

I know Father Z likes to toss the phrase around a lot, but apparently he disagrees with this portion of the encyclical.

See for reference.

Supertradmum said...

May I add something else. I love the TLM and know many families where the Faith has been saved because the dad led the family to the TLM.

It is not that I disagree with the beauty, sublimity and holiness of the Sacrifice of the Mass. It is just that we are living in times where all Christian worship has been denigrated.

I know too many Catholics who have left the Church for one reason-contraception. At least they are honest. These people would not go to a TLM. We must pray for such.

The other problem not addressed here is that it is not only the Mass which brings us grace, but Confession, Confirmation, and or course, baptism. How many Catholic parents are putting off or denying baptism to their children, because they "want them to decide for themselves"?

The Mass is the ultimate form of worship for us Catholics and the TLM is the most exact of this form in the West. However, the TLM, although it attracts many converts and reverts, needs to be seen in the large context of a Faith fully lived daily.

When I was in Rome years ago, I attended several Papal Masses of St. John Paul II. One was at the Gesu for Epiphany. I had to push my way through dozens of men, many smoking cigars, outside the Church, to get in. These were Italian men, mostly older than myself at the time, who would bring their wives to a Papal Mass but would not go in. Instead, they stayed outside and talked business.

When I asked an Italian I knew at the time about this, he replied that such men were doing this for centuries, long before the NO. They saw the TLM as not macho, and going into the Church with their wives not manly.

A deacon who is Latino in America told me recently that this happens in the Mexican and Latino culture. Men have not gone to Mass, either the NO or the TLM as it is "women's work" to pray the Mass.

The problem is much deeper than "rite" or "rule". Too many men think their wives will pray them into heaven.

One last anecdote. A very young man in Malta told me last year that he wanted his friends to find good practicing Catholic women to bring his friend back to the Church.

Of course, I exploded. I pointed out that the man is the religious head of the family, the "priest" in the domestic church at home and no good Catholic woman would believe the nonsense about marrying someone in order to convert them or revert them.

These problems discussed here are as old as Adam not being the "head" of that first couple.

Unknown said...

The feminization of the Church's worship is a long-standing issue. The idea that men avoid the Mass while women do not because of some "natural religiosity of the female soul" is total nonsense. It's time that we let men be welcome as men once again in our worship.

dcs said...

Jacobi, the skew in the US is different. It's at least 45% men.

Where in the U.S. is that? I don't think I've ever seen 45% men at any Mass in the new rite in the U.S.

You don't see as many young 20 year olds, but when they marry and start having kids you see the uptick in that demographic.

I think that used to be the case but isn't really any more. At least, that was what I was told by the DRE of the parish where I was received into the Church in 1997. I can't imagine things have gotten better since then.

gemoftheocean said...

Oh, please, supertradmum. "The man as the religious head of the family." If my dad had been, we'd have rarely gone to mass at all. That notion came from Paul, who thought women were ignorant fools. That may have been the case in 1st century AD where women were taught very little. But I never saw where Jesus told the women to shut up. He taught them as well. And chided the apostles for trying to "correct" him for "wasting time" with women. Ideally BOTH the husband and wife should be equally devout, and being good examples of living the Catholic faith, but often this is not so. Usually it's the mother who inculcates religious values to the children. And frankly both Adam and Eve were equally at fault. One sex isn't superior to the other in that regard.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is a matter of the Novus tending to be feminized. Rather it seems to me to be Effeminized. False feminine.

As a man I often feel creeped out by all the soft touchy feelyness often occurring in the typical Novus ordo. I never feel that way at the Traditional rite or Eastern rites.

There is a sense in which the Trad Roman form contains feminine qualities which are attractive.

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