Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Immemorial Mass of All Ages is Probably the Only Place Anyone Evangelizes in the Modern Church Any More

Note: someone just wrote complaining on behalf of RCIA programs. While they exist officially to bring people into the Catholic Church, the laity entrusted to operate these programs are woefully underformed, often malformed and heretical, as is typical of most diocesan parishes.

Edit: URGENT -- Bugninine Liturgy in trouble and in decline in Western world due to religious indifferentism, and it doesn't matter how many Gospel/Folk/Easy Listening 70s Power Pop you include. If there isn't enough evangelization going on in places where the Immemorial Mass of All Ages is being said, it's actually forbidden or frowned upon in diocesan parishes. Why evangelize when your liturgy resembles that of the Methodists and Lutherans down the street? And if the Mass crowd stuck in the 60s with St. Louis Jesuits are indifferent to evangelization, hasn't the Pope himself spoken out against proselytism and made statements which frustrate evangelism in the first place? If evangelization is a dirty word anywhere, it's in the run-of-the-mill ho-hum diocesan parish.

Here's an excellent response to Msgr. Charles Pope's urgent call for more evangelization (As if traditionalist Catholics don't). Actually, traditionalists are most likely to be the only people in the Church who bother.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO, Msgr. Charles Pope made headlines when an Archdiocesan blog published his defense of Gospel music for the Roman Catholic liturgy. While I appreciate the genre of Gospel music—and some pieces are lovely—I was troubled by his assertions with respect to music history. 1 On 7 January, Msgr. Pope wrote a piece for the NATIONAL CATHOLIC REGISTER with a sensational title:

“Urgent Warning About the Future of the Traditional Latin Mass”

Throughout his article, Msgr. Pope says things like: “The Traditional Latin Mass appeals to a certain niche group of Catholics, but the number in that group appears to have reached its maximum.” He keeps referring to a “ceiling” that’s been reached, making inexplicable references to “20 years ago, when the Solemn Mass was thriving.” His description of the EF early years does not match my recollection of the 1990s, nor accounts by pioneers like Fr. Michael Irwin (one of the first FSSP priests assigned to the USA).

Msgr. Pope seems to be unaware of charts like this one:

Link to ... AMDG

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does the graph include independent churches and orders outside of the novus ordo?Or is it official dioceses in the novus ordo?

Ecce said...

Well I think Msgr. Pope is well meaning and has some kind of point.

True enough, as Mr. Ostrowski writes, it's not all about numbers. But there is among traditionalist a widespread belief that TLM will all by itself attract huge masses and people will return to Church in droves. Well it seams it is not so, and Msgr. Pope notices that. It might had been so 40 years ago, when Catholics were still (more or less) Catholics. Today, most "Catholics" don't even believe the most fundamental truths of faith, they don't even have any idea what is the point of the mass and the Church; they will not feel attraction to the TLM.

True enough, there is still quite a growth in the traditional world. But the absolute numbers aren't that big, and we traditionalists should face the fact that we are still a minority. Number of TLMs grows fast by establishing new masses in the places that didn't have one before. But in places thathave a TLM it's not so many people that go to it. It's usualy dozens or maybe hundreds, compared to thousands of those going to NO.

And true enough, TLM is probably the only (or almost the only) place in modern Church where anyone evangelizes. But most TLM-goers have solid faith. The point of Msgr. Pope is that we should evangelize those semi-protestant, semi-secular masses of "Catholics" that don't go to the TLM. We have first to restore the true faith among them in order for them to appreciate the TLM.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%.I will admit even though it's not catholic,the novus ordo attracts many more people.

Tancred said...

The Immemorial Mass is food for apostoleship, it is the evangel Itself, the Word made flesh.

Valid though the NO may be, even its Latin falls short in that.

We must restore it.

Continue to grow in numbers and pray for new vocations, which of course are more numerous in some countries than all the non-Traditional vocations.

Why someone would want to be a priest in the narrow constraints of a NO parish is beyond me.

Steve said...

Quo Primum, the Papal Bull issued in 1570, is binding on all future Popes. This point was restated by Trent. It is highly probable that the New Mass is not valid. It is just like the Episcopalian liturgy only theirs is much nicer.

When Paul VI had a couple of bureaucrats write up the New Mass, he never decreed that anyone had to use it. So if you attend the New Mass, you are going against Divine Law, Quo Primum, you are going against Divine Law, Council of Trent and you think you are obeying something that was never decreed.

John said...

Well, I will offer this little tidbit: Though we're going on 7.5 years since Summorum Pontificum, the traditional Mass is almost unknown in this area of roughly 1 million people. I would estimate there may be as many as 20 or 30 Masses offered in the Novus Ordo, yet there is only ONE Mass in the Extraordinary Form. That's not exactly a demonstration of abundance on the part of traditional factions.
It's fairly easy to understand why: As a whole, the Church only barely evangelizes anyone. Certainly, I have rarely seen the more modern camp evangelize anyone. Even so, I have never met a traditionally-minded person without intentionally seeking out such practice. Merely offering the traditional Mass won't do it; the parish community surrounding it will need to commit to wider traditional practice in general.

Tancred said...

Relatively unknown in what area of one million people? The real Mass was attended by around 3 million people worldwide 20 years ago. Considering its recognition and spread into many diocesan settings, I would be shocked if it had shrunk.

Most people if given a chance, would attend the Mass at least once in a whole, and a large number would attend it every Sunday in Germany. But the real Mass is kept on the reservation or excluded completely in most parts of Germany.

There are also Diocese where it's very widely spread indeed, for example in Frejus-Toulon, Ciudad del Este (we should all know what happened to that) and still as far as we know a diocese in Benin, where the local bishop has expressed a preference for the Mass of All Ages.

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2010/12/africans-want-gregorian-not-forced.html?m=1

Tancred said...

Relatively unknown in what area of one million people? The real Mass was attended by around 3 million people worldwide 20 years ago. Considering its recognition and spread into many diocesan settings where it was hitherto considered an act of apostasy to attend one, I would be shocked if it had shrunk.

Most people if given a chance, would attend the Mass at least once in a whole, and a large number would attend it every Sunday in Germany. But the real Mass is kept on the reservation or excluded completely in most parts of Germany.

There are also Diocese where it's very widely spread indeed, for example in Frejus-Toulon, Ciudad del Este (we should all know what happened to that) and still as far as we know a diocese in Benin, where the local bishop has expressed a preference for the Mass of All Ages.

http://eponymousflower.blogspot.com/2010/12/africans-want-gregorian-not-forced.html?m=1

In any event your point about a parish with a regular old rite appearance is an important part of what's needed for the formation of the faithful and would be most welcome indeed.

John said...

"Relatively unknown in what area of one million people?"

MINE
One of the several cities in the Midwest.

If you think 3 million adherents 20 years ago is great, I think that almost sad. Via the internet, I find US population of 126 million in 1990, 25% were Catholic, or about 31.5 million adherents. Three million of that would be just under 10%. Even ignoring that you said worldwide, not only US, and even ignoring mutually-agreed communion with Rome, those are not convincing numbers.

We can agree that bishops have done a grave dis-service by failing to promote the traditonal Mass; such does not change the notion that traditionalist groups have done very poorly at spreading interest in traditional practice.

Tancred said...

Considering that most people thought, with the man Paul VI exiled to Tehran, that the real Mass was dead, I'm impressed by the harvest.

Considering that most people who attend the Bugninine prayer service aren't convincingly Catholic, I think we've got bigger problems than the (malicious) perception that there are a few meanies who fill the pews at the local TLM, who are worried about the finer points of transvestism (women in pants), cosmology and annoying people who wish everyone who goes to a Catholic Church wear a permagrin in order to give evidence of the hope within him....

Tancred said...

If you're talking about Chicago, I'd submit that I would be shocked that there were any Catholics there at all after 40 years of the likes of Bernardin and the Cheesehead Mitre.

John said...

Many who attend the Novus Ordo halfway think that those who seek Mass in the Extraordinary Form are not Catholic, tancred. Given that we're going on nine years since SP, that may happen because most traditonalists make little or no effort to aid non-trads in understanding the traditional form past "here's a missal, now find your pew". We can agree that various prelates have acted poorly in failing to recognize the value of the traditional form; we cannot agree that such poor leadership justifies the traditionalist in failing to spread the faith.

It's not enough to offer the traditional Mass correctly and well. We also need to offer lots of help in understanding why the traditonal form leads to grace more easily. At the very least, traditionalists could offer help in learning Latin, so we could all understand what we're saying and hearing in Mass. ...but when I mentioned that some years ago, someone actually suggested I'd lost my mind.
We won't see the traditional Mass spread very much if most people don't understand what we're praying.

John said...

I've never been to Chicago, unless you count transitting through O'Hare Airport. Actually, I'm thinking the people of Chicago or other larg(ish) cities might be insulted by that. I said metro area for a reason; my city proper likely does not reach 1 million except by adding the various towns in the overall area.
Regardless of population or lack of it though, the point remains that I could likely find 20 or 30 active Novus Ordo parishes in this area; I know of precisely ONE traditional parish. I would need to drive 50 miles or more to find another traditional parish in the next city, but that would be another quarter million or so people, also with quite a few Novus Ordo parishes.
Traditional practice has not been well-represented since the mid-60's. ...Or so it would seem from my experience.

Anonymous said...

Has Wuerl's resignation been refused yet? Pope works for Wuerl. Wuerl works for Frannie. Frannie said the popularity of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was a fad. Of course anyone who works for him MUST agree or be bullied, fired, defamed, put under house arrest, raped by sodomites etc. (called Lucrezia Borgia or Catherine de Medici - frannie really hates his mama, spills over onto hatred of BVM, Holy Mother Church (her Son) etc.)

IMPORTANT Pope Francis on Feb. 14: "Old Mass? Just a kind of fashion!"

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/02/important-pope-francis-on-feb-14-young.html

http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/love-for-latin-liturgy-more-than-a-fashion

http://www.praytellblog.com/index.php/2014/02/15/pope-francis-on-old-mass-just-a-kind-of-fashion/
How quickly you all forget. Meanwhile it's frannie's pop that's peaked.

https://twitter.com/henrivedas/status/683248596431421440


http://callmejorgebergoglio.blogspot.com/2015/12/rome-reports-spins-declining-attendance.html

Anonymous said...

John, this is a tired argument. The prayers of the traditional Latin Mass are right there in English alongside the Latin in the missal. It's not rocket science to understand what's going on in the TLM.

P.J.

Tancred said...

Arguably (and some clergy were of this opinion in the late 19th century), you didn't need a missal either to know what was going on. In fact, I'd submit that before the 1960s more Catholics knew what was going on at Mass and were far better catechized (whether illiterate or not) than they are now. These days, most Catholics don't even know what transubstantiation is.

Tancred said...

"Many who attend the Novus Ordo halfway think that those who seek Mass in the Extraordinary Form are not Catholic, tancred."

Considering john, that most Catholics who are enrolled in a diocesan situation aren't Catholic by the wildest stretch, considering that some 60% of them support Sodomarriage,

http://articles.philly.com/2015-09-04/news/66182786_1_u-s-catholics-pope-francis-american-catholics

John said...

PJ, Tancred,
If traditional factions keep on with these sorts of attitudes, the traditional Mass will never thrive. Let's keep in mind that most non-trads have little or no interest in trying to make sense of a missal; they have no moral obligation to force themselves through it. If non-trads do not understand how the missal works, if they do not understand the traditional Mass, if they do not understand trans-substantiation, ...these indicate the amount of work we need to do. We need to provide education and training, not summary dismissal.

We can't assume that people will come to the traditional Mass if given the option, the last 8.5 years should prove that. If we want to see the traditional Mass grow, we'll need to provide immense amounts of hand-holding until non-trads begin to understand why it's important.

I've been intrigued by the traditional Mass since around 2001; that doensn't mean that I can readily navigate the missal through Mass. I can't expect someone who's never seen one before to be comfortable right from the start. Human beings simply don't work that way.

Tancred said...

You'd have St. Athanasius go to sensitivity training.

Whatever Catholics trying to hold on to the faith of their fathers have done in the last centuries of tumult and persecution have done, it's obviously working.

Maybe it's you who needs to change?

Anonymous said...

The situation is so bad nowadays the true is going to shrink.At this point if you're going to novus ordo,you have no interest in being catholic.I am hoping every traditional order (sede r & r) will merge and operate outside the novus ordo.The concilliar parishioners have no interest in being catholic.

Tancred said...

Between you and Gaybrielle I'm really thinking about closing down the comments.

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