Traditional Latin Mass Arlington is not affiliated with the diocese of Arlington.

A Return to Tradition

This story just hit U.S. News and World Report’s website and should be in print on Monday. There’s a picture from last Sunday’s Traditional Solemn High Mass with Msgr. Pope as well. This is one of those rare stories that has such a great impact because it’s a national publication and is also read internationally.

While most of the stories locally have been good, U.S. News unfortunately made calls to Georgetown University instead of Msgr. Pope, and what they got was a verbal slap in the face to Pope Benedict and everything he is trying to do with the restoration of the traditional Mass and faith.

Read the story and decide for yourself. Pay close attention to what the woman from the Apostolate at Georgetown University and Rev. Thomas Reese, a Jesuit at Georgetown, say about the traditional Mass and ordaining women.


CJP said...

I had a long talk with the reporter for U.S. News. He's a good guy and spent about 30 minutes listening to my arguments. And he now knows the difference between neo con New Massers -- many of whom hate tradition and the traditional Mass more than liberals -- and traditional Catholics. He also understands that he should have had quotes from traditional Catholics in there to counter-balance the heritic Jesuit and the woman from Georgetown.

In fact, he's going to post a mea culpa on his blog, http://www.usnews.com/blogs/faith-matters sometime soon. And, he's given me 500 words to respond to the story, which I have passed along to one of our own from St. Mary's.

David L Alexander said...

Actually, the story was rather balanced, if you read between the lines. You get these quotes from Father Reese saying the same thing he always does as if he has his finger on the pulse of the world. And then you get all these reports that make it pretty obvious that he's way out of touch.

If this guy does issue a "mea culpa," that would be very sporting of him. And there's a number of people at St Mary's who could write with eloquence on this subject.

Nice work, CJP.

KJK said...

Oriens: The Journal of the Ecclesia Dei Society of Australia
Winter 1999
The temptation to tidiness

"THERE ARE many mansions in my Father’s house," so says Our Lord. "If there were not I should have told you."

The metaphor of the Church as God’s household is an attractive one. We live in a rambling old house that has rooms both in time and in eternity. It has rooms full of apparently useless junk, kitchens, dining rooms, rooms to sleep in, rooms just to sit around in, rooms for fun, rooms for quiet, solemn rooms of State and rooms to drink wine and sing songs in. The important point is that the rooms in God’s household are for His family, and that there is a place for everyone. It has been a sign of authentic Catholic faith throughout the ages to allow God’s family to dwell in His house undisturbed by unnecessary demands for moral or doctrinal conformity.

The heretics have generally been the puritans, fanatics and purists. The Catholics generally had the softer approach to life. The heretics were always wanting to clean up the house like Martha, the Catholics content to put up their feet and chat with the head of the household like Mary. The Catholic attitude to life should be just a little bit irresponsible and perhaps even scandalous, rather like the Church’s founder.

The Traditional Movement because of its unfortunate marginalisation is always in danger of this temptation to tidiness which historically has not been the characteristic of a Catholic outlook but of a heterodox one. The Church of Christ has never been tidy, efficient or well organised. Catholics, with some notable exceptions, have never been very good, for example, at running wars or bureaucracies. This is as it should be since the Church’s job is to get people into heaven, not to wash or scrub them or to make them into model citizens of whatever sort.

This should also be the aim of the Traditional Movement which should be content to live in the vast and rambling mansions of God and to encourage others to do so. More frequently than we would like to admit, however, we traditionalists can see ourselves as bouncers at the front door keeping out the riff raff who might make the place untidy. The rules for admission, however, were laid down by Our Divine Founder in embarrassingly minimal terms: "Come to me all you who labour and are heavy burdened and I will give you rest." There are four gospels, seven sacraments and ten commandments. All the rest is optional.

Integrist temptation

There is a tendency among traditional Catholics to see Tradition as one big package of religious, social and political conservatism. Those who do not accept this whole package can then be portrayed as inconsistent and not really Traditional at all, just eclectic cafeteria Catholics who happen to like incense and chant, as mere aesthetes who just like dressing up or even in more alarming terms as agents or infiltrators of unseen sinister forces trying to subvert the Church.


The fact is, however, that the traditional movement cannot impose any other agenda than that of the Church itself. It can be neither republican nor monarchist. It cannot take a line on which is the best way to advance the pro-life cause. It does not have a view on gun control. It neither condemns nor approves home schooling. It does not have a line on the privatisation of public utilities. It is neither capitalist nor socialist. It does not and cannot endorse or condemn any political party. It can only encourage individuals to follow the Church’s teaching on Faith and Morals and to promote them in the public forum. To require more of people than the Church requires is to make ourselves more Catholic than the Pope and more Christian than Christ.

If traditional Catholics, moreover, are to accept the whole of the Church’s teaching then we must also recognise the Church’s traditional teaching on social and political matters. For over a hundred years the Popes have spoken in encyclical after encyclical about the rights of workers, about the injustices associated with debt and the centralisation of economic power. We cannot ignore the consistent teaching of the Popes from Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum to Pope John Paul II’s Centesimus Annus. To do so would be to embrace the very same "cafeteria mentality" of the progressives that is so often condemned in traditional circles.

The Church’s social teaching should not be seen as a regrettable family secret that we try to keep anyone else from finding out about. There is no contradiction between a desire to see a restoration of liturgical and doctrinal Tradition and a lively interest in the issues of social justice so consistently urged upon us by the Magisterium of the Church. One might indeed hope, that the alienation felt by many traditional Catholics as a result of the manifest injustices that many of us have suffered would lend us a certain sense of solidarity with the poor and dispossessed.

Interior coherence

There is furthermore an interior coherence between the Truth of Christ expressed so purely and so eloquently in the traditional Mass and our refusal to accept the deceptions of the dictators and despots of this world. The traditional Mass is much more difficult for the world to subvert. It cannot easily become propaganda for any party. In its easy and expansive silences Truth is easily nurtured in the soul and the whispered lies of tyrants die. In that hospitable silence the peasant may kneel next to the king, and the only measure between them is that of personal holiness, and God keeps that secret in the recesses of His own mystery.

The traditional Mass is indeed the Mass of God’s rambling and welcoming mansions into which it is our happy duty to invite all of His scattered sons and daughters.


CJP said...

Nice comment in print today by Ken in US Snooze:

The cover of your issue on religion featured a traditional Latin mass said by a Roman Catholic priest, yet the three Catholics quoted—a Jesuit priest, religious sister, and Georgetown professor—all opposed or dismissed the rising popularity of the centuries-old liturgy. If one were to look at those in the pews of the Latin mass, he would see many young people, the driving force behind the restoration of Catholic practices that were eliminated in the 1960s, before their time. Asking the 20-to-30-somethings why they were there would have been more interesting than relying on tired analyses by older, liberal Catholics.

Kenneth J. Wolfe
Alexandria, Va.