Thursday, August 29, 2019

Banning the old Mass

This one's making the rounds on the interweb. I too hate that churchmen broke their promise of the old and new services coexisting, the situation we now have, which is fine. Catholics were bait-and-switched. To be fair, some of this stuff is Ecclesiology 101: you don't get to bring in a priest uninvited by the diocese or set up services outside the parishes just because you like the old missal better. The bishops' attitude was reprehensible; such was yucky American Catholicism in the '70s and '80s. The textbook right answer was to remember that our teachings can't change and that the church can write new services, so hunker down and obey, using the missal you're told to but sticking to the teachings. (Go to the earliest, lowest Mass: no funny business.) But I appreciate that the situation in some parishes and dioceses was dire, even anti-Catholic, and I appreciate the churchmen, most famously Archbishop Lefebvre, who fought for the externals, making it possible for a future generation to learn them. It turned out to be "the Mass that would not die."

Before Benedict XVI lifted the ban on the traditional missal, as the apostle and liturgiarch of his diocese, could the bishop forbid a previously approved missal?

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