Monday, February 13, 2017

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs

  • I'd be happy with a cheerily corrupt Pope who leaves the ordinary practice of the Catholic religion alone, for holy priests and laity.
  • Benedict XVI's abdication four years ago was the worst thing I've seen happen in the church because it ended the best thing I've seen happen in the church.
  • I wear a suit most Sunday mornings but here's my first and last word about church attire. If it's a sexual temptation or unhygienic, it's a problem. Other than that, I'm "old-fashioned decorum" in the sanctuary (vesture, gesture, posture, following rubrics: my home is the Tridentine Mass) but "come as you are" for the laity. "The Catholic Church: here comes everybody."
  • Funny how the old college standbys of Catholic identity in America, such as Notre Dame, Fordham, and, locally, Villanova (although locals don't go there), don't mean jack to me. Vatican II did them in.
  • "Renfair shamanism." I'm stealing that one. Let me guess: when Fr. McGillicuddy does hieratic, sacral stuff, it's evil because it's oppressive, but when Big Chief Winterwind does it, it's beautiful and so spiritual. Liberals sometimes fetishize the Eastern rites that way (Orientalism, exoticism, anti-Westernism).
  • It's not about Latin. Cardinal Heenan (1967): If the Church is to remain truly the Catholic Church, it is essential to keep a universal tongue. Heretics such as Bugnini took our bishops for a ride (good thing the church is indefectible): next to nobody at Vatican II thought the Roman Canon would effectively be replaced and most assumed it would remain in Latin and maybe even in a low voice. Anyway, yes, but. An international language is useful for the church, as is a dead language in the sense that its meaning doesn't change. And everybody develops a sacred language eventually. That said, the more extreme Eastern-riters have a point that Catholic doesn't always mean Latin. (It doesn't always mean scholasticism, Thomism, either.) And I'm fine with vernacular translations of services. Mass in the vernacular isn't the problem. Right but it's the thing everybody harps on. People think I'm a traditionalist very conservative Roman Riter because I want to speak Latin.
  • A problem is the vernacular opens the door to ad-libbing and other "changes" not always in the rubrics. Perhaps the East, being more traditional in any case, is less prone to this problem. The pre-conciliar Roman Rite is just as traditional. The East doesn't traditionally use vernaculars. Again, everybody eventually comes up with a sacred language. For the Greek Orthodox it's medieval Greek, not ancient Greek, the Greek of the New Testament, or modern Greek. For the Russian Orthodox it's Slavonic, which educated Russians understand about as well as we do Chaucer.
  • A priceless moment captured in a photo. The master of ceremonies' face speaks for us all.

1 comment:

  1. Just one or two steps above a clown mass, perhaps? :-)


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