See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Cardinal Mahony: Clueless in Los Angeles?

The Cardinal vs. the TLM.
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Several years ago, Mother Angelica upset Cardinal Mahony after she'd expressed criticism over an instruction he gave regarding the Eucharist. I can't remember what it was exactly, but the Cardinal was none too happy with Mother's criticism. I could be mistaken, but he may have tried to have her taken off the air. He never succeeded of course. Yet it was on account of churchmen like him that she once protested, "I would rather blow this place up than let them get a hold of the network" - or something to that effect. Tough lady.
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This week, the trad world, along with liturgically savvy Novus Ordo Catholics are up in arms over the Cardinal's latest blunder. Responding to an online interview question regarding the TLM, the Cardinal made the following statement:
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"The Tridentine Mass was meant for those who could not make the transition from Latin to English [or other languages] after the Council. But there is no participation by the people, and I don't believe that instills the spirit of Christ among us." - Source

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Seriously, if the Cardinal just did a little Internet search/poll, I'm quite certain he would find that a great many of the TLM advocates are young people, many born long after the Council; very well educated, who can easily make the transition from English [or other languages] to Latin. It is mostly Catholics my age who are content with the English - but not the novelties and abuses.
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Some advice the Cardinal may like to take under consideration: "Don't let the pendulum swing hit you in the rear-end on the way to your retirement."
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I just realized, the Cardinal is an American of Irish descent isn't he... What is it they say about blarney?

25 comments:

  1. I would like to see some legitimate research done about how much the younger crowd is attached to the EF. All I"ve ever heard are anecdotes, which are not supported by my experience. Seriously, I'd love some stats.

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  2. Hi - I don't have stats, but the church where the TLM is celebrated here attracts a lot of young people. For sure it isn't an overwhelming majority - I think the overwhelming majority of youth are probably not in any church.

    Remember, I'm very content with the Novus Ordo - but I have always appreciated the TLM - I was an altar boy for it.

    As for Cardinals and stuff - I just have issues with authority figures and the clothes. LOL!

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  3. Oh, and I had nothing else to post about.

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  4. Oh, no, don't get me wrong. It was a very fine post.

    And I agree that the Cardinal's remarks went over the line.

    I just usually take issue with the notion that "young people are flinging themselves" and the EF.

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  5. That, and I'm disagreeable by nature, which I try to work on.

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  6. michael7:08 AM

    Mother Angelica apologized to Mahony on the air: "I do want to apologize to the cardinal for my remarks, which I'm sure seemed excessive." Kinda sounded like the apology that Bishop Williamson just offered, huh?

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  7. * "Don't let the pendulum swing hit you in the rear-end on the way to your retirement."
    ....I love your line.

    My husband refuses to take me to the TLM Mass because he said ,"I wasn't raised that way." I said, "hello ! I wasn't raised with ANY of this religion, and they have books so you can follow along. I think that the Mass that I go to now has been dumbed down - a lot.
    I went to Ana's Catholic college last Sat, and the place was packed with traditionalists , AND there is a liberal community there too which makes no sense to me. Pro - Choice Catholics ? I think the traditionalists are growing , and just not in their family sizes either. I wanna be one , I can't wait , but the closest church is at least an hour away.

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  8. David9:53 AM

    Terry,

    Firstly...on Mahony vs. Angelica here is the poop straight from the office in Rome that Mahony applealed to: he tried to get her censored and then censured by the US Bishops and Rome. Her apology made him more upset because it included a retelling of why she thinks he is/was wrong (and his pastoral DOES stink theologically). Then just as the axe was looking like it would fall onto Angelica...Our Ladu intervenes and through a euorpean visionary who went to see Mother at EWTN, Our Lady cured the nun of the condition she had which had required her to use braces. So now what was the Lord-Cardinal Archbishop of LA to do? Our Lady had taken sides (so to speak) and he dropped the entire case.

    Seocndly...re: the TLM and young people. I hear that all the time BUT I never see it EXCEPT for young people who are/were typically raised in TLM and Homeschool families. Other than that I never see the post Vatican II kids at a TLM. Of course I never really go because I am a huge believer in the Novus Ordro in English with an authentic sacred translation.

    IF we believe that the Holy Spirit calls general councils together and directs them in various degrees...then WHY do some keep acting and speaking and writing as if God really is vindicated and the Church finally rergaining its senses with the re-emergence of the TLM? I am WELL aware that the Council did not mandate all the liturgical changes that took place but I am also aware that Spirit was calling for SOME changes in the liturgy...so why do some insist on a throw-back to 1962?

    Personally...I have ALWAYS thought that IF the Novus Ordo has been translated authentically into the vernacular and IF the use of Latin/Greek had been maintained for perhaps the more solemn featsday liturgies of the church year, we would NEVER have seen the schism of the Pius X abd related groups and the TLM today would be simply one more beautiful memory in the historical continuity of liturgical development.

    Ok thats my take on all these things...come on guy...hit me with your best shot! LOL

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  9. David - you said it all - I appreciate it.

    Come to think of it, many of the young people attending the TLM I actually know of gre up with it as you say.

    I'm very content with the Mass in English. By mistake I went to a NO "high" Latin Mass one Saturday evening at a local church, the sanctuary was filled with numerous altar boys and deacons and the incense was so heavy it looked like there was a fire. I was totally distracted watching all the dynamics going on.

    I guess I'm just too simple.

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  10. Funny you should say that about the distraction of activity at that TLM...I find the rubical gestures and the common "solmen" look (which remind me of having a 2x4 up one's - - - ) more distracting that most of the casuality found among many N.O. celebants. But that's just me.

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  12. As an historical matter, I think the Cardinal is correct. There was no intention at the time of TLM continuing.

    As for the second part, it is an opinion freely offered. As an Irishman he would have associated the high mass with the Anglicans and would have grown up knowing the low mass. The large Hispanic community he serves also don't tend to have a history with a high mass TLM. Given that the TLM was generally experienced as a low mass and offers very little - often lasting under a half hour - it isn't shocking that the good Cardinal would be dismissive of it, much like people are dismissive of EP2 masses. Today when people speak of the TLM, they are generally talking about a high mass. I would speculate over a third of the TLM masses offered today on Sunday are in that form. That wouldn't have been the case near the council.

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  13. David2:50 PM

    Oh I forgot to mention...the Cardinal Archbishop of LA is 50% Italian (his mama).

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  14. M.Z. Thanks very much for that perspective. I was being cheeky about the Cardinal, and I should know better.

    I believe you may be correct about the low Mass - high Mass thing. Growing up it was not all that common, except I believe the OFM parish had one every Sunday - perhaps a conventual Mass since the Friars chapel looked onto the main sanctuary.

    My line about the Irish was just a dig, since St. Patty's day is coming up. I'm part Irish, but my family never represented the heritage very well. I do love the Irish however - in Ireland.

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  15. Well then he can't be all bad.

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  16. David4:45 PM

    Ha thanks Terry. It must be his 50% Irish side that is causing the raucus!!!!!

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  17. Anonymous7:01 PM

    I'm young (born after Vat II)and attend the TLM. I didn't grow up attending TLM, wasn't homeschooled, don't hate the NO, and the parish I attend has never had a high Mass, only low Mass. I would say 70-80% (depending on the Sunday) are either young single folk or families with little kids (I'm calling all non-high school looking kids 'little').

    I find the NO distracting with the American Idol wannabes singing the Psalm and the affected voices of those doing the readings (speaking of young people, do they even let anyone under 50 do those? I've never seen it). There is far less movement during a TLM. Once the priest goes to the altar, he moves from epistle side to gospel side and ends up in the middle, so he moves a couple of feet or so. Besides, I'm not there to watch the priest put on a show. The NO has a parade of people coming up from the pews. I don't find solemn distracting. I do find the casuality found among some N.O. celebants very distracting because it is the holy sacrifice of the Mass after all, not the early show at the Improv.

    But that's just me.

    Max

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  18. Been to the TLM. If it was offered where I live I would go there instead of the NO however I am not pleading with Father to offer it. I am just thankful I can get to Mass at all where I live.

    The only anti-TLM's in my parish are generally between 55 - 70 years old. What does that tell ya?!

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  19. Anonymous7:29 PM

    As an addendum, I would like to add that I have never been to a low TLM that was under an hour. I could not imagine one in under 30 minutes; but, if I can get out of a weekday NO in 15, I can certainly imagine some priests trying to squeeze out a quickie TLM. which reminds me...I was talking to a priest once who he told me that in the Masses pre-VatII, that during the Masses later in the morning/noon-ish the priest wouldn't even distribute communion because he figured that everyone that had fasted since midnight had already attended Mass earlier in the morning. I can see this as an instance in which the Mass would be shorter than usual.

    MZ's comments reminds me that the TLM isn't just a 'white' thing. There are only four people who attend TLM at the parish I attend on a regular basis that I would consider 'elderly'. Only one is white. Two of them are an older East Asian couple and the fourth is a South Asian woman. We also have several Asian and Hispanic families. I realize my parish is not typical (of course the same could be said for someone who experiences the TLM in rural WV, seriously do you expect to find anyone other than old white people in that situation?) as I happen to live in a very ethnically mixed area, but I think it underscores both the diversity of the Catholic experience as well as the fact that not all who share a love of the TLM are aging, backward, etc.

    Max

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  20. Max, I find your characterization of the Normative Mass just as offensive as I find the good Cardinal's characterization of the Extraordinary one. Naming abuses in either form does nothing to advance your cause, and more importantly, proves nothing.

    Pax.

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  21. Anonymous9:12 AM

    Hey, I'm 62 and a revert semi-traditionalist. I've gotten fed to the teeth with all the "performances" at what's supposed to be an act of worship, so much so that I quit as organist after 20 years at my parish. Not all of us boomers are libs, ya know -- I'd like to see a lot more silence/reverence at Mass. Whether in Latin or English, without reverence and the realization about what's going on, it's not a great situation. Each time I go to Mass now, I ask the Lord to switch off my inner critic so I can focus on Him -- because that's what it's all about -- in any language.

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  22. Anonymous - instead of calling myself semi-trad, I just say Roman Catholic - I believe that still should mean something. I go to the Novus ordo but either attend the Saturday vigil mass, or go to a very early morning Mass without music. I do not like theatrics either - no matter what form the Mass is celebrated in.

    I can never bring myself to identify as a baby-boomer either. LOL!

    Thanks for your comment.

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  23. They- whoever "they" may be will never be able to kill off the Latin Mass so to speak , even if our churches crumble.

    I would like to see more ethnic diversity at Mass. Heck there was only one black person in Kansas , and we sent him to the White House. ;)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHWeuQyFouo&feature=related

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  24. A Sinner10:28 PM

    Hi Terry,

    I really like your blog. I visit it often and really miss your insights on Abbey Roads 2. Here is a link regarding the TLM situation in Los Angeles: http://www.calcatholic.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?id=96f0bd99-22f1-4f5b-8782-e0073a33a4bf

    Cardinal Mahony has been obstructing it for years. Most recently, the LA Una Voce Chapter tried to convince the Cardinal to keep Daniel Murphy HS open by bringing in the FSSP to staff the school and to make it a personal parish for people who desire the traditional Mass. It had a semi-wreckovated, but pretty, chapel. I believe the Una Voce people may have even gone to the FSSP about the possibility, and when they suggested their idea to the Cardinal, he reminded them that only he could invite an order to the archdiocese. Of course, no matter how bad the priest shortage in the archdiocese, he would NEVER, EVER allow a traditional order in Los Angeles. I know they have been trying to schedule a face to face meeting with him for years and it has never happened as far as I know. There is a priest shortage in Los Angeles and the Cardinal is really into lay pastoral assistants running parishes. He said the vocation shortage is one of the good fruits of V-II and is a blessing because now the laity can become involved. He made a big deal of ordaining 62 permanent deacons last year. Check out the archdiocese website and look for the annual Religious Education Conference to get a good idea of how "liturgy is done" in the archdiocese of LA. Most recently, he issued a press release saying that he would not allow the infamous, holocaust-denying Bishop Williamson in his archdiocese, but every year he invites known heretics to speak at his Religious Ed conference. The archdiocese's website was put together by an openly gay deacon ordained by the Cardinal.

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