It's Hard to Be Objective
Thursday, June 28, 2007
When your worldview is so narrow it only includes yourself.

US News is covering the fabled Motu Proprio, which is supposed to allow the celebration of the Latin Mass without Diocesan approval, on the Pope's own authority.

Eric Ferkenhoff, the writer of the article, can't hide his bias, though this is not an Op/Ed.

He writes:
Given the fierce fight that preceded Vatican II—the liturgical and doctrinal reforms of the mid-1960s that sought to make the church more accessible—a similar war would seem needed to overturn them. But a movement is building at seminaries nationwide to do just that: In addition to restoring the Latin mass, young priests are calling for greater devotion to the Virgin Mary, more frequent praying of the rosary, and priests turning away from the congregation as they once did. Perhaps most controversially, they also advocate a dimished role for women, who since Vatican II have been allowed to participate in the mass as lay altar servers and readers.
Such changes would seem to aggravate the church's growing attendance problems(in 2003, 40 percent of Roman Catholics said they had attended church in the past week, down from 74 percent in 1958) as well as enhance its air of exclusivity—the notion of Catholicism as the only true faith.
Aside from the appalling lack of editorial review (he misspells Tridentine and diminished in the article, for starters), notice the wording. "The priest turns away from the congregation" - no, actually, the priest faces the same way as the congregation, as they assist Mass together. It's not a stage production, after all. It's all about intention and nuance.

Additionally, what 'doctrinal reforms' were enacted at Vatican II specifically? Granted, I'm probably very ignorant of all of the details and documents issued forth... but I don't remember ever hearing that church doctrine was changed.

There's a little critical thinking problem too: if attendance at Catholic churches has fallen 34% since Vatican II reforms were introduced, why assume that by going back to the Mass celebrated in 1958 (ok, it's 1962, actually) would cause even MORE decline?

And really, the "notion of Catholicism as the only true Faith"... what's the difference between "notion" and "Constant and consistent teaching from the first century onwards, even unto the death of the martyrs that Catholicism is the True Faith"? He's not trying to diminish Catholic beliefs or anything, is he?

He predicts that other old practices will be restored as the Vatican tries to impose the conservative values of Benedict on a more liberal world.

Vatican tries to impose... or the Pope tries to shepherd his flock away from the pitfalls of the liberal world? Why does Mr. Ferkenhoff assume that the liberal world is the one we should embrace?

My favorite line:
The Latin movement also has its detractors outside the faith

What?!! Catholics are criticized by non-Catholics? Master of the Obvious, he is!

I am eager to hear the Motu Proprio. I don't think it will make much difference at my church, where the priest seems awfully suspicious of priests who know Latin, but perhaps there will be a valid Latin Mass within driving distance once it's published. My chapel veil is getting dusty.

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posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 6/28/2007 09:03:00 AM | Permalink | |