Monday, 5 January 2009

On traddie bashing and playing nicely together

As you may have noticed I haven't been blogging much of late, or reading other blogs, having been taking in the sea air of Adelaide, but I have been mulling over a piece or two on some of the challenges the traditionalist movement currently faces.

Doing a bit of catch-up yesterday though, I stumbled across a series of posts on Coo-ees from the Cloister that touch (mostly inadvertently) on a number of the themes I'd been thinking about for some time, so I thought I'd get some of my outrage out of the way before talking about some of the other issues on my list!

In particular, I want to talk about the need for the novus ordo world to come to grips with Summorum Pontificum and accept it; and for greater unity among traditionalists.

Now I have to admit, for reasons that will be obvious to most I'm rather hesitant about taking these topics on. But on balance I rather think the time has come to confront some of these issues head on, and attempt to lance a few boils!

My comments will I suspect strike some as naive - there is after all a lot of history and pain behind some of the divisions in our community. But as Christians we are called to constant conversion, and I hope my comments will give some pause.

Being at home in the Church

One of the most significant moments of 2008 for me was Pope Benedict XVI's comments to the French bishops to the effect that traditionalists too have a place in the Church and their right to the traditional liturgy should be respected (remember that outrageous co-option of it by the Brisbane heretics!).

It is a message that has started to have some impact, in France and elsewhere. In fact it seems to me that one of the most important effects of Summorum Pontificum has been to make traditionalists feel that they are indeed part of the Church - not a persecuted and rejected minority, or alternatively the only remaining bit of the real Church!

It is this positive impact that was perhaps best represented by the recent Adelaide (novus ordo) ordination of Fr Mannes, attended by traditionalist priests and laity from around the country, something that surely wouldn't have happened in a year or two ago.

Unfortunately trad bashing is alive and well...

So it was disappointing then to see the revivified Coo-ees from the Cloister devoting a series of posts to mocking the Institute of Christ the King (who don't currently operate in Australia but who are doing good things in the US and elsewhere).

Now the Coo-ees are always slightly outrageous, sometimes hitting the mark and making us all laugh; sometimes falling completely flat, so one tends to want to give them some leeway. And I'll admit a photo of the acolyte juggling five or so birettas as everyone stands around in full vestments is mildly funny.

One post along these lines would have been fine. But three?

Habits and clericals

And really, I just don't see why adding some distinctive elements to one's order's apparel is so outrageous as to warrant a doppelganger picture with Goering and the Institute's superior (post number 2).

In fact most society's of apostolic life, novus ordo and otherwise, have their some distinctive elements to their garb. The Institute, moreover are canons, and thus entitled to choir dress. Frankly, we should be rejoicing that priests are willing to wear clothing that proclaims what they are rather than trying to pretend to be Mr Average next door in an open-necked shirt.

Liturgical abuses

Nor can I understand why traditionalist seminarians are prohibited from mocking the liturgical and ecumenical excesses of the liberals in a photo of a skit from a revue (post number 3).

The reality is that traditionalism is in part a reaction to those very excesses, as the Pope explicitly stated in Summorum Pontificum! And I'd have to say it is a particularly odd criticism coming from a blog largely devoted to such mockery itself...

Accept the right to say or hear the TLM!

Now Coo-ees (perhaps prudently given the tone the comments were taking on) closed down the debate before I could join it - and someone did step in to defend the Institute (albeit in a rather backhanded way, by turning the spotlight on the Fraternity of St Peter instead).

All the same, I do think someone needs to say rather more directly to Hardman Window and fellow travellers: get over it!

The Pope has legitimated the right to say the traditional mass; accept those who like as part of the Church just as we accept Marionite rite, Ukrainian rite and other catholics!

On the traditionalist side of the divide...

Some of the comments on one of the posts pointed to the desirability of the FSSP taking a more active role in evangelization. As my readers will be aware, I'm strongly in favour of all traditionalists being actively engaged in the wider Church, taking on the task of active evangelization, and much more.

I have to say though that the kinds of views expressed in these posts, and some of the responses, are the very reason why traditionalists tend to retreat to their ghettoes!

The comments - from traditionalists as much as from the non-traditionalists - also reflect, to my mind, a lack of respect for the different streams of spirituality within the Church.

There are reasons why we have a great variety of religious orders and surely we should rejoice that there are real choices open to traditionalist priest discerners in terms of the Benedictine-Salesian/baroque/communal style of the Institute, the more Thomist/low mass oriented/French influenced/individual style of the Fraternity of St Peter (feel free to challenge my characterisations!), and traditional religious orders.

Individuals may not personally understand or be attracted to the approach of some particular school of spirituality currently practiced amongst traditionalist priests in Australia, be it Dominican, Franciscan, Ignatian and/or Fraternity. We may individually prefer a medieval, Tridentine or baroque style of worship. And we can certainly have a debate about the respective merits of these differing approaches.

But while accusing a competing school of spirituality of shortsightness or worse may well have been traditional in the past (think Jesuit vs Dominican!), in our current situation in the world we should surely try to remember to treasure the diversity of our Church's patrimony and defend it against the destruction of tradition that has been going on in the wider Church, rather than attacking unnecessarily particular streams of it ourselves on the basis of individual taste, theological opinion or simple prejudice.

There are legitimate differences of opinion on many issues that are matters of prudential/pastoral judgment and even on issues that are still within the realm of theological opinion. Most of these are arguably not 'core' to the traditionalist movement.

These do need to be worked through and discussed in an appropriate, balanced way.

But the great danger, it seems to me is that now that we have the right to the Mass, we might fall apart into ever smaller warring factions over some of these things.


Take the issue of concelebration, for example, raised in comments on one of the Coo-ees posts.

On this, the Fraternity of St Peter takes the view that it was founded to say the traditional mass exclusively and its constitutions reflect this. Similarly, there are a number of diocesan priests who prefer to attend 'event' masses with their bishop in choro. Canon Law guarantees their right to take this position - no one can be forced to concelebrate.

At the same time, we can hardly reject the concept of concelebration altogether given the regularity with which it is used in papal masses. The Institute, one gathers, does allow for concelebration, and there are some celebrated examples of senior traditionalists concelebrating for particular reasons.

Individual preferences and theological opinions on this issue may well determine whether you should be a member of the Fraternity or not. It may determine whether one attends a concelebrated mass or receives at it.

But I would hope that traditionalists could try and respect the individual and institutional decisions on matters such as this and try and work together and look past these kind of things - consider what unites us rather than what divides us.

The reality is that we are not trying to recreate 1950, but to create our own, in many ways quite new, vision of the Church, albeit drawing on the patrimony of the Church to do it. Traditionalists (and for that matter the wider Church) are creating their own customs (consider for example the case of mantillas, pretty much unknown in the Australian Church before the 1980s except in migrant communities), and joining in the process going on in the wider Church in making judgments about what is and isn't acceptable from the reforms. This sorting process will take time.

Positive signs

On the unity and evangelization front, I actually thought there were a number of very positive things that happened last year. Let me just highlight a few.

At Juventutem it was wonderful to see Fraternity, religious and diocesan priests all involved in the ceremonies and/or attending in choir. And Juventutem was itself - together with a number of special event masses throughout the year - a wonderful vehicle for exposing many people to the Traditional Latin Mass and Gregorian chant.

Similarly there was strong symbolism in having a non-FSSP cleric (in the form of Fr Jordan SJ) acting as a deacon at the recent FSSP ordinations in Australia, and I gather a similar diversity of priests participated in the ordination of Fr Sumich in New Zealand.

At the Christmas Midnight Mass in Adelaide, where the priest, deacon and sub-deacon were respectively a Dominican, a Fraternity priest and a diocesan priest, was nice to see.

Now I don't imagine all (or perhaps even any) of this was easy to manage!
Personalities, competing perspectives, and different levels of knowledge and experience, as well as many other factors always come into play when different groups do things together.

But the reality is that we need each other, despite our differences, if we are to offer back to the Church the riches of tradition that are needed to fight the secularism, schism, heresy and indifferentism that afflict the Australian Church.

And it is in the interests of our traditional communities too. While Melbourne and Lewisham have enough resident priests and qualified persons to have Solemn Masses regularly, for example, none of the other traditional communities around Australia do.

Yet surely the Solemn Mass, at least for Sundays and First Class feasts - or at the very least the odd special occasion - is the norm we should aspire to? And it can be done, if use is made of the priests that are sympathetic to and/or regularly say the traditional mass.

So here is my proposition: let's all make learning to play nicely with each other, and respecting (legitimate) diversity one of our focuses for 2009! Let's pray for unity and work to heal some of the rifts that have been allowed to fester in the past, and make use of all of those who care about the traditional mass in our efforts for the future of the Church.

After all, if we can't model respect amongst ourselves, how can we demand it from the novus ordo community?


Just a reminder therefore that comments are welcome provided they go the issues, practices and actions rather than attacking individuals or institutions as such. And please, give yourself a name.


John L said...

'we can hardly reject the concept of concelebration altogether given the regularity with which it is used in papal masses.' Well, no (excluding of course such concelebration as occurs in the traditional rite, at the ordination of priests). The personal practice of the Pope is not authoritative for Catholics; only the decisions that he officially promulgates are. I won't go on about liturgical abuses that have occurred at papal masses in the past because everyone who is a trad has already heard about them ad nauseam, I will only note that such things have undoubtedly occurred. the points about unity between traditionalists that you make are well taken. Do not the remarks you address to non-traditionalists however leave out part of the story? People who worship at the novus ordo tend to dislike traditionalists because (among other reasons) they feel that the choice of the old liturgy is not a simple expression of personal preference as in preferring coke to pepsi. They think that people go to the old liturgy because they think it is better or even much better than the new; and not only that, but because the new is thought to be objectively deficient as well as relatively inferior to the old. And they're right (people wouldn't have gone through the struggle involved in attending the old rite in the past if it was simply a matter of preference) . But they think this outlook of traditionalists is implicitly critical of their own preference for the novus ordo. And it is. So there is a real and irremovable cause of dispute between traditionalists and novus ordo worshippers.

Terra said...

Fair point on abuses at papal masses John, although in the case of concelebration it is (unfortunately in my personal view) a properly authorized option.

I'm not sure though that I totally agree with your analysis of the underlying basis of the n.o vs trad tension.

While some traddies were undoubtedly motivated by views of the objective merits of the mass, I think the vast majority came to the TLM as a result of the abuses/poor/appalling liturgical practice in most parishes, and only later came to appreciate the theological basis of their preference. There are some interesting testimony articles in the Oriens Journal archives for example on this.

Personally, if I had had ongoing access to a N.O Latin ad orientem mass with chant propers (which was my first real experience of the Catholic Church at the Brompton Oratory), I'm not sure I would have been attending Ecclesia Dei conferences and the like back in the day!

It is true that most of us eventually arrive at the view that the new mass is objectively inferior - but I don't personally see that as meaning that its supporters are likewise deficient in some way. Rather, I see them as the victims of brainwashing and propaganda and just outright (largely invincible!) ignorance.

The position the Pope has been taking is to suggest that the TLM is just another preference, albeit one those endorsement will have wider effects in terms of more reverent celebration of all masses, and one which includes a number of elements that he would like to see re-introduced into the mainstream of the Church (such as ad orientem worship).

Personally think we should capitalize on this line of argument in the interests of rapprochement.

It is not realistic to think that the NO will dissapear altogether any time soon (although I do think the much longer term is a different story). It may, however, be realistic to think that some of its worst features can be modified, and the ars celebrandi rediscovered relatively quickly - with the help of the TLM, traditionalists and Tradition!

+ Ioannes Episcopus Roffensis said...

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

I commented on the "Hermann Goring" doppleganger post, and I shouldn't have.

I do think a that there is a bit of friendly rivalry between the Institute and Fraternity that is not necessarily spiteful or malicious; sometimes it's just a bit of good natured joking.

I've heard of Institute seminarians calling FSSP guys "worker priests", and FSSP guys saying that there's something not quite manly about all the lace the Institute owns...

Personally, my comment about the Reichsmarschall notwithstanding, I think the Solemn TLM ought to be normative. Chant and Polyphony ought to be front and centre, but I also have a liking for Haydn and Mozart Masses, which would shock St Pius X.

I just need to restrain my propensity for vulgar facetiousness!

Anonymous said...

I agree with you both in that:

1. most people are likely to stumble on the TLM because of disatisfaction with the NO as celebrated in most places

2. if the NO was celebrated properly and fully in continuity with Tradition (ad orietem, Gregorian chant, a greater sense of the sacred) then many people will not need the TLM. But the reality is you need the TLM in order to know how the NO should be celebrated. That's why the NO might die out, but the TLM is highly unlikely to

3. One's involvement in the TLM inevitably leads one to see the objective deficiencies in the NO, both as promulgated and as celebrated in most places.

However, the trick is for that objective fact and the objective superior express of Catholic Faith that the TLM provides, not to be represented or received as a personal attack by those attending the NO, or the assertion by the TLM attendant of some kind of personal moral superiority (and, we know, there is far too much of that!). And this is harder said than done, as much because of the individual experiences of the NO attendant as anything. AND, it's not like you can take them to the local parish to experience it. We can talk and talk and talk, but ultimately, nothing will evangelise like the TLM itself, without our help.

We need more TLMs in more parishes. How can this be done?


Terra said...


While I know what you are getting at on the mass evangelizing itself, the issue is how to get people there and keep them for the two or three (or more) masses it sometimes takes!

I really do think there are some things we could learn from protestants and other sects on this front.

Some things that I think are helping are the series of articles in assorted diocesan newspapers/websites by traddie priests/on traddie events; more TLM community websites; blogs, etc.

But I do think there is a lot more that can be done.

1. Let people know it exists!

The most basic and important thing is just letting people know that it is available (when it is!), that it is legitimate, and that it might be worth a visit just to see!

That means handing out flyers to likely groups/places (students on campus during orientation week, etc), getting publicity in diocesan publications, etc, etc, etc.

Arrange for TLMs to be said in Catholic schools occasionally (with supporting talk).

Chant workshops might be another means of helping things along.

Use community charity projects as a means of spreading the message.

Publicize and allow access to non-TLM attenders to youth groups, catechecal sessions, cultural clubs, etc.

Maybe even try and get a story on a show like Stateline or one of ABC radio's lifestyle programs...

2. Focus on retention!

Make sure visitors and newcomers get a warm welcome, and preferably find a way of following up to see what they thought/encourage them to return.

You would be surprised how many people (particularly lapsed catholics) are put off ever coming again by the experience of standing by themselves having a cup of tea after Mass, or even more basically, having no one even smile at them before or afterwards...And I'd have to say the two communities I've visited in recent weeks both pretty much get a fail on this front as far as I'm concerned!

And it shouldn't just be a matter for parishioners - I'd really like to see priests out there greeting as people leave mass rather than getting caught up in the sacristry/hearing confessions etc (I know this is difficult given time constraints etc - but I reallly think adequate time should be set aside for confessions at a time separate from any Mass, plus as much time as possible immediately beforehand to get around this problem).

It would also be good to be able to handle out (or point newcomers to) more detailed explanations of the spirituality of the Mass (for example Michael Sternbeck's Ordo is a good study guide for this kind of purpose).

3. Explain why the TLM is worth trying and help people through the experience.

For the laity - workshops/introductory talks to explain the TLM, teach them how to follow it, learn how to sing the responses etc (one of the constant things I get from those I try/manage to drag along is the fear of not doing the right thing at the right time).

For priests - circulate the positive stories about the effects of saying the TLM for their own spiritual life, and congregational attendance. Offer training sessions on how to say the TLM. Invite other priests to be deacon/sub-deacon or attend in choir at masses where possible (for example in NO-land Epiphany was Sunday - so some may be free for the TLM!).

4. Build alliances with 'reform of the reform' parishes and priests.

Help them learn some chant; hold join eucharistic processions, etc - eventually they might be interested in learning/attending a TLM!

5. Availability

Well publicized special event masses and traditional devotions that give people a chance to taste and see.

And I could go on.... OK so this is a bit of a hobby horse of mine!

Son of Trypho said...

I tried to post earlier but I guess it didn't get past moderation - which I'll take as my fault :) - nonetheless I will try to bring up some of my suggestions;

how about traditional PP's (in clerical dress) visiting the inhabitants of their broaders parishes (meet and greet, door knock sort of thing) and let people know they are out there etc - they could work with members of the traddie community to offer appropriate services/assistance to some of these people?

how about the traddies organising some form of social or discussion groups where talks could be presented on a wide range of topics (alot of the traddies have a lot of knowledge/education/quals to enable them to do this on a wide range of theological/religious/philosophical/historical etc topics) and invite others to attend with free and open discussions?

anyone have any thoughts?

Terra said...

I haven't rejected any comments on this post so far, so I'm guessing there was a glitch on your system Son of T. If you had something a little more robust to say (assuming it is within the guidelines I set out), please try again - I do think we need to debate this topic!

Good suggestions in any case!

+ Ioannes Episcopus Roffensis said...


I've never had a problem in this parish, but, after years of being force-fed "how to work a room" by bosses, I perhaps sometimes miss it when I'm not being observed as being in "Marketing Mode". I hate "working the room", but I made sure at, for example, at Fr Mannes' ordination, I renewed a few old acquaintences, and met at least a dozen new people.

As ut happens, I was at a couple of Masses (at least) at which you were present - (the Fr Mannes OP Ordination, the Solemn Midnight Mass) - and regret not having had the opportunity to welcome you.

I'm normally a shy sort of bloke. So I force myself to make the effort.

But you are right...Adelaide people can be such, well, snobs, sometimes...I mean most of the time!

+ Ioannes Episcopus Roffensis said...

I've often thought about visiting my local parish, run by the Salesians, and home to any number of liturgical horrors, and trying to guage interest in a TLM there (the priests are all old guys, so they probably could do it if they wanted to!).

Logistically, it can be very difficult. You've got to find altar boys, re-order the sanctuary, find sacred items that were scattered to the ends of the earth in the last few decades, a priest who knows how to say it properly, surplices and cassocks where the altar girls wear sneakers and albs. You've then got the entrenched Extraordinary Monsters of Holy Communion who want to distribute, no matter what, and old churches from whence the altar rails have been untimely wrenched. Kneelers? Where do I get kneelers, so the over 50's can kneel without toppling over? a burse? A communion paten? Chalice veil? Might be in the shed out the back? Might not. How do I get rid of that bossy sanctuary lady who wants to do a gazillion readings? What if the priest is too old and struggles to remember, and doesen't really want to be bothered with all the vesting prayers and the additional vestments? Forget about Gregorian Chant, getting rid of the Overhead Projector and the tape recorder would be a fine thing.

I just pray that I have the discipline and will give it a go in the near future.

LIke Fr Z says, brick by brick, I suppose. We've just got a lot of bricks to lay, yet.

Sorry for the pessimism. I'd love to give it a go at some stage, dust out the old stuff and return my local parish to proper worship. It'd save me a three-hour round trip!

Terra said...

I know exactly how you feel Fisher, I personally hate doing the meet and greet stuff, always seems so artificial. And as far I myself go, I'd have to say I could certainly be more proactive in introducing myself to people, I'm just not very extrovert in that kind of situation.

And I wasn't just talking about Adelaide in general or the ordination in particular. The function was great fun, locals extremely helpful! In fact I hadn't intended to go to the party, but was pushed to, and met lots of great people. Events like that tend to get everyone on a high, and more relaxed (me included) I guess! And actually a couple of daily mass goers in Adelaide were very welcoming too.

But I'm talking about what typically happens after a normal Sunday Mass. And to complete newbies, not just visitors from other TLM communiteis who obviously know what they are doing!

In Adelaide I was actually impressed that Fr McCaffrey makes a point of doing the standing outside the door thing (even if he then dissapears into the confessional for the next hour or so!).

I'd have to say it is not particular to Adelaide though, but pretty much universal amongst traddie communities (overseas as well as in Australia) with a few notable exceptions.

Go along to your local Jehovah's Witnesses or Methodists or whatever however (well ok, actually don't, but you what I mean) and I challenge you to escape without them getting your name, address and much more (I know this by hearsay only I hasten to add)!

Salvatore said...

Actually the thing I found most striking about the Cooee’s sniping at the Institute of Christ the King was the article that came before the photo of the chap holding five birettas (Sunday December 28th), which shewed the bishops of Australia after one of their Masses; straggling out of some cream-brick barn in unmatched chasubles with eyes & hands in all directions. It seems to me that whilst one might have some reservations about the Institute’s style, at least they demonstrably care enough about the worship of God to try and carry it out as well as they can. The sad fact as that the attitude which regards the Institute’s extravagances as a greater problem for the Church than the Bishops’ contempt for the Liturgy is still very widespread, and we would be deluding ourselves if we thought it was likely to disappear any time soon.

The question of concelebration points (I think) to another issue for Traditionalists. There is, it seems to me, a real danger that in our zeal to resume our rightful place in the Church’s life & (as it were) prove ourselves to be Good Modern Catholics we may end up surrendering the very things we have fought for for so long. Acquiescing to concelebration is one aspect of this. Others one sometimes sees might include the zeal for the introduction of vernacular readings or vernacular hymnody at Mass or the adoption of Modernistic styles of Vestments & vesture. We need to hold most doggedly to the truth that there is no pressing need of reform or revision of the Traditional Rite. It is often said that “we are not trying to recreate 1950” but I think that’s exactly what we should be doing. Once we can match the pre-conciliar Church – in thriving parishes, prosperous seminaries and zealous religious orders for example – then (and only then) can we start to think about structural reform of the Rite.

+ Ioannes Episcopus Roffensis said...


I did it a couple of weeks ago... that is, I ran into a guy in the street who had been rude to me when I was doing some work for Vinnies.

He was obviously intoxicated and depressed, and dragged me along to a Pentecostal service.

I ended up in the confessional for quite a time explaining to a retired Archbishop why I ought to have done differently.

That said, unless one is very firm in the faith "I converted to Catholicism because it is the Truth, and have no intention of wavering this side of the pearly gates!" one gets hammered from left, right and centre. My Prot parents were never given that treatment at a TLM.

Hardman Window said...

Firstly a word about my three "Coo-ees" posts about the ICKSP. The photos I came across on their website are very interesting, but several of them did strike me as absurd, so I extracted them and build a frame of words around them.

The Institute itself I have no experience of, and as I made a point of including in my posts, they probably do good work.

Now AFTER I had posted the Goering/Wach "doppelganger" I googled him and found a whole website dedicated to establishing that "Msgr" Wach isn't really (or wasn't really) a "Msgr" at all and that he has allegedly a propensity for dressing above his pay-grade. But such stories usually have a labrynth of other stories behind them. I don't think Wach is doing his own cause much good, but that's his problem. Likewise, I belong to that school of persons who do not like to see decent Catholic liturgy identified with manlace and fiddlebacks, so ICKSP aren't going to win me over on the score of aesthetics. But that doesn't really matter.

Now: to the substance of your post. It seems to me that the two major camps are those who think the Roman Rite could do with a bit of reform (as did the Council), and those who consider it pickled in aspic and untouchable. Those who think that the present "Novus Ordo" is just peachey form a subset - rapidly shrinking I think - of the first group. My personal opinion fwiw is that the reform was so badly mishandled that it is necessary to rewind and to re-inform the reform by allowing the unreformed liturgy to co-exist for a time in its pickled form as a leaven (sorry for the mixed metaphors), so that the Novus Ordo as we now have it can be replaced by something so organically emerging from the 1962 Missal that it is undoubtedly Catholic, beautiful, and EVEN BETTER than the "Extraordinary Form". One Roman Rite. With maniples.

Both "sides" have grown deeply suspicious of each other, and this is precisely what must be overcome. We have to stop acting as if we belonged to different Churches. We have to stop thinking of ourselves as either "traddie" or "trendy". And we have to stop absolutising every word in both the Ritus Servandus and the G.I.R.M. as if they were immutable.

We are all Catholics, after all, and those of us who are actually priests ought to be allowed to get on with our jobs without TOO MUCH well intended advice from the younglings. (I'm always slightly annoyed by people who aren't bound under pain of sin to recite the whole daily Office telling me that I should be using the old Breviary).

Son of Trypho said...

I'm not trying to start controversy but I'll address Hardman Window's comments re. the post comparing Wach to Goering.

Whatever the spin you are trying to put on this it is both lacking in foresight and extremely uncharitable. Goering was a member of the Nazi establishment and was indicted at Nuremberg (and convicted) for war crimes, crimes against humanity, crimes concerning starting the war amongst others. To compare Wach, who appears to have committed the alleged crime of dressing ostentatiously, is extremely offensive and does you no justice.

Incidentally, writing as a (technical) Jew, I cannot repeat enough that Nazi jokes almost always are in the worst of taste.

Saying that, even if you care to disagree, you must take into account the lack of foresight involved in making such a comparison. As can be seen from the recent comments from the South Brisbane crowd, they are not above taking quotes out of context to support their own positions. Comments like this could very easily be taken out of context as a tool to criticise the traddie movement unfairly.

This is one of the points that should be considered in the traddie movement - there needs to be a greater level of solidarity and very careful expression of criticism in the public forums as I am sure these criticisms/comments are being used by opponents to misrepresent the traddies in the broader Church and community.

Terra said...

Oooh, Fr HW, I think I should be flattered to be called a youngling (because I'm not very)!!

And its good to see that you subscribe to some pre-Vatican II attitudes such as that the laity should stick to praying, paying and obeying!

To be honest, this kind of response is both why we have to retain labels such as traditionalists until they cease to be needed, and is one of the reasons why we shouldn't try to recreate the 1950s in my view - because it led so many to jump over the cliff following their priestly leaders.

Or to desert the Church altogether, leaving the Church in droves rather than adopt the novus ordo imposed on them from above.

The right of the laity to make their views known, form associations, and organise, protected by Canon Law, is helping dig out of the morass us the Church is currently in.

But we can't do it without priests to teach, sanctify and govern which is why I so resent the attacks made both on the Institute on Coo-ees.

The silly attack on Fr Wach's title, which is hardly a justification in any case for bashing the Institute, especially in restrospect(!), comes I discover on the rabid SSPX/sede site Angelqueen. A much more balanced discussion and explanation can be found over at Catholic Answers.

So you don't like lace. Tough.

Why didn't you comment on the wonderful pictures of Cardinal Pell at the FSSP Church in Rome then? Something relevant to Australians and about whom you presumably do know something...but perhaps a target in a position to bite back!

On the need for the reform of the TLM, this was obviously a pastoral matter not a dogmatic one. I don't personally find a lot of SC very convincing - it seems to me rooted in a very inadequate anthropology. As you say it was so badly mishandled that we will never know now if it could have been done sensibly. Personally, I'm all for a bit of tinkering with the TLM - to take us back a few reforms and thus restore a few vigils and octaves, and to finally dump the very inorganic changes Pius XII made to Holy Week...

Anonymous said...

In my early years as a religious brother, I actually spent four months living with the institute of Christ the King in 1991, before returning to the Conventuals. If I had stayed with the institute, I would have been their first brother, ( ow in the Institute they are refered to a Oblates.) I found them them to be the most charitable group of men I have ever lived with since I entered religious life over 22 years ago. I believe Msgr Wach and Fr Mora are true Catholic gentlemen and devoted priests of Christ and his Church. They were very kind,paternal, and they seemed to show a lot of common sense which sadly often lacks in different quarters of the Church, What especially edified me was their attitude towards the poor, who would come for food. They were always charitable and gracious. I believe they are holy men May Our Lady watch over their Institute- Br Louis Mary OFM Conv.

Hardman Window said...

Ooh, Terra, I fear you have misunderstood my intent. I wasn’t calling YOU a youngling. I was referring to some persons of my acquaintance who have opined to me that the older breviary should be adopted by all Catholic clergy. One does also read in blogs of people discovering the joys of the “traditional” Office. May it profit them and the whole Church. But I’ll stick to the “new” one.

I would certainly like the laity to pray, pay and obey. I have to pray and obey, myself, and I’ve even been known to pay on occasion.

Now, talk of “deserting the Church in droves” is vaguely reminiscent of Mr Coyne of Acatholic; and adopting lawfully things lawfully imposed by lawful authority is what faithful Catholics should indeed do. But as you say, the laity (and the clergy too) have a right to make their views known, and if the bishops had been more attentive to such views then perhaps the worst excesses of the past 40 years might have been avoided.

I’m struggling to see why you should consider the posts on “Coo-ees” as “attacks” on the ICKSP. They are merely snide and childish jests. People shouldn’t take “Coo-ees” so seriously! As I said I have nothing against the ICKSP except perhaps their fondness for the baroque, which when all is said and done doesn’t really matter at all. I hardly mentioned lace.

I suppose I could have said all manner of things about Cardinal Pell’s appearance at the FSSP church in Rome. As it happened, all I did say was that +Hart would have done a better job, and that Mr Bean appeared to be in choro, and that Melbourne was well represented. Now that you mention it, +Pell did look a bit silly in so short an alb, and he was really wearing the wrong sort of mitre. Was ther somnething startling or funny that I missed?

And I wouldn’t worry about +Pell “biting back” – Metropolitans have very little jurisdiction outside their own See even in their Province, and in any case I’m told he’s being transferred to Westminster.

Hardman Window said...

I am delighted to hear such good things about Msgr Wach & the ICKSP, and I will pray at the altar for their intentions. My dilemma will be wroking out which direction to face when I do :)

Terra said...

Fr FW - If your comments about younglings weren't directed at me, then they are as they say a diversionary redherring. Let's talk about the Office some other time!

And the comparison between my comment and the Acatholicas is really pretty outrageous - the difference is that the desertion of the Church over the last four decades is objective fact, whereas the number of liberals left to desert is rapidly dwindling by simple ageing!

Can you really not see why comparing someone to a Nazi (and in a subsequent comment on this blog making further insinuations about the man) might be perceived as a little more than 'snide and childish jests'?

I would have hoped for better.

But in any case, the main thrust of my post was aimed not at you and Coo-ees (though I'd certainly hope for better on matters traditional from other 'just Catholics') but other commenters and readers of the posts concerned.

Fritzy Playfair said...

What I am really sick of - and maybe I am alone in this - is a form of megalomania that comes over Catholic bloggers. Suddenly the personal opinion of bloggers becomes definitive (particularly by those who are skilled with words) and bloggers become prophets, deciding on discussions we need to have.

The Comment Box becomes a place for denunciation, bigotry and point-scoring in the endless battle to have the last word.

There is a cure for this, of course (which I find very liberating): don't read blogs! As a matter of fact, I think I'll log out right now...

Mary Lou said...

'Nice shot of the boys and Fr. Terence Mary Naughtin at Midnight Mass Glenrowan.'
'Twas a beautiful Mass.

Terra said...


Logging off is indeed the solution to your problem.

A blog is just one person's opinion, no more no less. If someone else agrees that a conversation is warranted on a topic they make a comment and off we go. If they don't the combox stays silent, the blog fewer or gets no readers. No meglomania involved I assure you.

The advantge of a blog comment, however negative, is that the person who is the subject of it can, if they choose, respond (or get someone else to on their behalf). To my mind that is far preferable than sniping behind their back.

It also gives people a chance to work through and discuss what is and isn't appropriate. We may not all agree - but sometimes talking it through does change our thinking!

Anonymous said...

Re: Gothic versus Baroque, it's far from a minor issue, although it's an accidental one. People really ought to read Doctor Geoffrey Hull's "The Banished Heart" concerning the cultural setting of catholicism - but wait until the end of the year when a new edition should be coming out.

+ Thos. Wolsey

Archieps. Eborac., etc.