Saturday, January 06, 2007

Hello? This is Il Papa...

Fr. Z. tells us the Pope has apparently phoned the reluctant French bishops and convinced them of the propriety of the pending Motu Proprio freeing up the use of the Tridentine Mass. Personally, whenever I get an unexpected phone call from my boss my heart goes in my throat, so I can't even comprehend the reaction one would have getting a phone call from the Pope.

Now I must also admit that I have never actually participated in any way in a Tridentine Mass, since there are none in New Hampshire (the closest I believe in Boston, MA) so I don't have the direct affection for it, but I do sympathize with those who suffer with the abuses of the Missal of Pope Paul VI (Novus Ordo as we all call it) some like to foist on us. Note the proper emphasis in that statement - "abuses of", not "abuses in" - I do believe it is possible to have, and have personally seen, very reverent N.O. Masses. Even versus populum. I do, however, also agree that the freedom of the N.O. Mass combined with versus populum and combined with the far more damaging culture into which it was introduced originally can lead to abuses. That is why I believe allowing both rites to exist alongside each other is a positive action. It is my firm hope that those who continue to abuse the Pauline Missal will see this Motu Proprio as a signal that the time for personal creativity at the altar is over. If that is the only effect of this Motu Proprio it will be one of the most important documents of this century. Oremus, fratres! (I'm sure someone will correct my Latin if I'm wrong there.)