Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A telling comment...

Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, during an interview about 10 years ago was asked:
"There are those critics of the ancient Latin Mass who point out that the crisis in the Church developed at a time when the Mass was offered throughout the world. Why should we then think its revival is intrinsic to the solution?"
Her response:
"The devil hates the ancient Mass. He hates it because it is the most perfect reformulation of all the teachings of the Church. It was my husband who gave me this insight about the Mass. The problem that ushered in the present crisis was not the traditional Mass. The problem was that priests who offered it had already lost the sense of the supernatural and the transcendent. They rushed through the prayers, they mumbled and didn’t enunciate them. That is a sign that they had brought to the Mass their growing secularism. The ancient Mass does not abide irreverence, and that was why so many priests were just as happy to see it go."
Yes, the moral problem within the priesthood began before the Council, but unbridled chaos ensued when emphasis on the offering of sacrifice for sin was exchanged for the role of presiding at liturgical assemblies. - Sean - comment left on "The abuse crisis is just a small part of the Vatican II crisis." at Rorate Caeli
Today my gut tells me everything is going to work out - "All will be well".  The scandals, the Pope's letter, even the role the Healthcare Bill passing in the U.S. played out - an act separating the sheep from the goats as it were, in the Catholic Church in North America - "All will be well."
As expected, Fr. Z, Fr. Longenecker, and Fr. Blake have terrific commentaries on their blogs, analysing what is going down these days.  Click their names (hi-lighted here) and read what they are saying.


  1. Alice von Hildebrand is certainly right.
    This is not to disparage the Ordinary Form; it is the Mass.
    But celebrating both Forms, I have to tell you, I don't understand why the Council's document, "Sacrosanctum concilium" was not followed; the interim Mass of 1965, which had both vernacular and Latin was the "Mass of the Council", from what I have studied and what I see.
    The present Ordinary Form needs to be reformed; simplification of some of the rites, use of the vernacular for the readings, intercessions, and possibly the orations, but leaving intact the Latin for the Ordinary and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (since these are unchanging) seems to be the way to go.
    As I celebrate the Extraordinary Form, with my physical infirmities, I realize how exacting and demanding this form is...so many bows, signs of the cross, standing for a half an hour for a Low Mass, that it is not difficult to understand how those priests who had lost their faith or were in the process of losing it wanted something "easier", less demanding, more "open-ended".
    She is right-on about this, in my humble estimation.
    Great post, Terry.

  2. Terry - I have the same sense that you do - things will work out somehow someway, and all for God's greater glory.

    Keep the faith, and don't despair. You're in my prayers.

  3. Thanks much Larry and Fr. - we are all praying for one another.

  4. Terry,

    I agree with you and Larry. There's too much of what Spiro Agnew, in another context, called "the nattering nabobs of negativism." Whether it's health care or the Church or what have you, we betray our faith if we don't remain optimistic. Realistic, to be sure, but optimistic nonetheless. Thanks for making that important point.

  5. Carol9:02 AM

    Alice is not the Pope, as aren't priests.

    Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church. I'll bet that's why we have a feeling that He's ultimately in control.

  6. Carol: I offer you this suggestion:
    read Dietrich von Hildebrand's "Liturgy and Personality"...it's based in the Traditional Mass, but gives a very comprehensive treatment of the Sacred Liturgy of the Church, no matter what form.
    There is an adage, "Lex credendi, lex orandi"...what is the law of belief is the law of prayer (liturgical).
    If we don't have the authentic form of prayer, the beliefs of the Church are weakened.
    Jesus is surely the Head of the Church. But we, as poor, weak humans depend upon the faithful rendering of the Sacred Liturgy, according to the mind of His Church, His Bride.


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