Friday 11 February 2022

A word of advice to Traditionalist, Latin Mass, Roman Catholics

As someone who wishes you well and to see you prevail - since you seem to contain most of the real Christains in the RCC; I suggest that you ought to argue positively for what you really believe: that the Tridentine Latin Mass is superior to the vernacular Novus Ordo Mass. 

This does not mean that the vernacular Mass should be forbidden altogether - nor that those who want the Vernacular/ New Order should not be able to have it; but that its inferiority ought to be officially recognized - and the Novus Ordo should be 'tolerated' rather than approved. 

I say this because I have too-often seen supporters of the Latin Mass using the same kind of 'negative' (indeed liberal) arguments used by supporters of 'free speech'.

In other words, Latin Mass advocates too-often try to be value-neutral about the two forms of the Mass.  

They try to avoid stating that either form is superior - and try to to take a line that says both Masses are equivalent, and ought to be 'equally' tolerated. 

Such an argument is wrong; because decades of experience has demonstrated (if it was ever in doubt) that there can be no such thing as value-neutrality: things are either good or bad; and if there are two different forms one must (and will, in practice!) be acknowledged as better than the other

So to argue negatively, from a statement of value-neutrality is both inaccurate, and ineffective. 

Therefore, the Tridentine Latin Mass should be supported as explicitly the superior and preferable form. 


T said...

Exactly, right. Thank you for saying this.

I am not a sedevacantist, but I have benefited greatly from reading what they have to say. All traditional catholics should read sedevacantist rhetoric on the mass to understand that it is not about preference, or options, or a right to its availability, but about how the Novus Ordo has cheapened and indeed changed the faith.

Bruce Charlton said...

@T - I agree the sedevacantists are usually worth a look. I don't think it is the only valid response to the Francis papacy - but it is one of them.

A said...

I believe it is only the SSPX that has always advocated this position - among those who still recognize Francis as a valid Pope. The other TLM organizations all compromised so that they could obtain official recognition and acceptance from liberal superiors: that officially the Masses are equal, that TLM is basically a hobby/aesthetic preference alone, that they will perform at least X number of New Order masses, etc. Now we see consequence of that compromise since Francis has pushed hard to completely eliminate the TLM.

easty said...

The obvious argument all along was "Why didn't the new mass creators just translate the Latin of the old mass into English if its just that they wanted mass in the vernacular? why did they change the Latin text too?" (I.e. hammer that, make the hierarchy answer, rinse and repeat and never let up!) After all, old missles from the 50s/60s had English translations already. V2 could have just authorized priests to read the English side aloud and left everything the same. Not only do Catholics seem incapable of noticing this or making this argument but any I've told this too dismiss it and would rather argue some arcane nonsense about Fatima or accuse the new mass of being Protestant and launch into an attack on Protestants. As someone raised Protestant I see zero similarities to Peotestantism in the new mass. But I wasn't Lutheran or Episcopalian but CoC. Anyway we didn't have little girls in what look like wedding dresses up at the table with little boys in tuxedos standing with a peiest in what is supposed to be waiting on the table of the Lord's Suuper but is easily mistaken as a polyandrous child wedding! The new mass looks like nothing I've ever seen in Protestantism!

Jack said...

You'll be edified by this priest.

(the second is from his own recently opened channel)

Jack said...

@easty Some traditionalists have also made that point; but what you're missing here is that the architects of the Novus Ordo Missae deliberately did not do a 1:1 translation of the old Rite, because they found the very content of those prayers to be offensive to their novel sensibilities. (Even some biblical passages have been suppressed, like the one where Paul warns Christians not to receive the Lord's supper in an unworthy manner). They didn't just want to change the language, they wanted to change the words themselves, so as to alter the very understanding of Catholics in their faith, to change Catholic theology, life, and worship. It was a comprehensive program of change, a revolution in the Church; not merely a translation. A proper translation of the old Rite into a fitting form of vernacular would have definitely been better. In fact, that does exist in the relatively small community of the Anglican Ordinariate, a group of Catholic converts from Anglicanism who have a translation of the old Roman rite into the more sacred, hieratic tenor of English the Anglicans perfected. Still though, most Catholic traditionalists argue for the preservation of the Latin language itself as the more stable and fitting vehicle for the transmission of the faith to a worldwide Church. Vatican II on paper did in fact call for the preservation of Latin in the Mass, but this was entirely ignored by the reformers who acted with little care for tradition or respect for authority.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jack - Yes, I've seen him. Admirable.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Jack - re: comment by easty - Actually, that was what I understood easty to mean; but it was a bit ambiguous.

Ranger said...

I think the point of this argument is correct, but not its form. I don't think it's true that "if there are two different forms one must be acknowledged as better than the other".

There are MANY rites both in the Catholic and in the Orthodox Church, and that's not a problem. The argument to be made is that the Novus Ordo Mass is deficient because of some of its changes, not that it is necessarily worse or better because it's different.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ranger - Okay... " "if there are two different forms one must be acknowledged as better than the other, assuming that we are talking about something important".

In other words, the differences mean that one is better and the other worse because the Mass is vitally important in the RCC.

The only valid way to argue that different forms of Mass do not entail a value difference is when the Mass is (whether implicitly, or explicitly) being regarded as unimportant, trivial, 'optional'.

And this is what we find...

A said...

Thanks Dr. Charlton, I thought about this at Mass this week. We went to the New Order, in English, and it was a very watered down Mass. The emphasis was certainly the "old lady" aesthetic. It was undeniably clear that the Latin Mass as a form of Mass as Mass is superior - far closer to the "good, beautiful, and true" and especially as solemn and holy ritual of manifesting God's presence in an eternal sacrifice.

The New Order isn't wrong, in so far that many participate in it as a form of worship, but that's not what Catholic Mass is/was. The emphasis has shifted from the "Holy Sacrifice of Mass" to a primarily community-focused gathering with Christian pop/folk music that was popular 50+ years ago and 80 year old women still prefer.

I think the arguments among Catholics, especially coming from conservative and traditional Catholics, that both Masses "really are" the same thing are dishonest and convoluted, and all kinds of evil spring from that dishonesty - even coming from otherwise good religious leaders.

It's like saying Mozart's Requiem and "Mary Did You Know" are the same thing and totally equal because they're both forms of music.