Friday, March 14, 2008

Were Roman Catholics really happy about the abandonment of the old Mass?
Conventional opinions fall into two broad categories, neither of which capture the whole truth of course but they are views that people adopt in order to make sense of the times.

Which is more accurate: a people’s revolution from below...
The party line of the liberal gerontocracy running things in that church.
...or a coerced imposition from a powerful elite?

The truth is probably somewhere in between but that answer is too much of a cliche to be very satisfying. So I would like to say a few words on behalf of the view that the liturgical change was not entirely welcome.

Many, many, many
[Roman] Catholics just left after this period, demoralized and upset. We don’t hear from them. And we know this is true based on the statistics, which are pretty reliable. What used to be 85% weekly attendance collapsed to something like 25% — and the recent Pew study we cannot dismiss. It turns out that Catholics have been leaving in droves for decades.

The fact is that the people who reacted negatively to the change in 1970 most probably were not survivors. They left as casualties of the reform, and now they are silent. They aren’t around to support the current reform.

What makes me especially suspicious that this was not a welcome change is the manner in which it was imposed — not as a choice but as a mandatory thing, while the old form was effectively banned. Would this really be required if people were so anxious to dump the old forms? I don’t think so.

It is true that the extraordinary form is not going to sweep the country and enter the mainstream anytime soon.
From TNLM.

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