Sunday, July 15, 2007

This cheered me up this morning

From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Demand may rise with Pope's approval of Latin Mass
Some view traditional liturgy as divisive, others attracted by reverence
Sunday, July 15, 2007

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

At 11 a.m. today, Latin chant will fill St. Boniface Church, as veiled young women kneel with their husbands and children to hear the Rev. Matthew Talarico offer his first High Mass for Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community.
The 26-year-old from Cecil was ordained last month by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis for a community whose call is to offer the traditional Latin, or Tridentine, Mass. Demand is expected to rise now that Pope Benedict XVI has said that the 1962 Mass -- the last approved Latin Mass before the changes of Vatican II -- no longer requires special permission from the bishop.
"Latin is the mother tongue of all Catholics," said Father Talarico, who will serve in the Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.
"Modern languages are always changing. In order to express a timeless liturgy and eternal truths, we use a language with a venerable tradition, a language which does not change, a language which unites us with all of our ancestors in the faith and which serves as a bridge to the future in bringing all Catholics the unity of faith."
But use of the Tridentine Mass is controversial. Some bishops had not permitted it, in part because they believed it spawned division and elitism. Some Catholics associate it with schismatic movements that reject all teachings of Vatican II. Jewish leaders expressed concerns because the 1962 Good Friday liturgy includes a prayer for the conversion of Jews.
Father Talarico, however, was trained in Italy for the Institute of Christ the King, which is approved by the Vatican. He accepts Vatican II, noting that it hails Latin as the official language of the church.
The Pittsburgh Latin Mass Community, established in 1989, meets in St. Boniface Church of Holy Wisdom parish in the North Side. The Rev. Lawrence DiNardo, pastor of Holy Wisdom and chief canon lawyer for the diocese, will help decide how to apply the new rules.
Although he is not its chaplain -- the Rev. Kenneth Myers is -- the Latin Mass Community has been an asset to his parish, he said. With 650 participants, it is one of the largest diocesan Tridentine communities in the U.S.
Neither Father DiNardo, nor the Rev. Ronald Lengwin, the diocesan spokesman, expect the pope's decree to change much here. It doesn't require every pastor to offer the Mass if requested, Father DiNardo said. Those who want 1962 liturgy will continue to go to St. Boniface, he said.
However, the diocese is currently more permissive than the pope. Two Sunday Masses are held here; the pope permitted just one. Pittsburgh has had permission for all Holy Week services; the pope forbade the Tridentine celebration of Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday.
"We can't say yet whether any of that will be grandfathered in," Father Lengwin said.
Some of the greatest concerns about the 1962 Mass concern Good Friday. Catholics and Jews involved in theological dialogue have objected to a Good Friday prayer for the conversion of Jews. It replaced a more infamous Good Friday prayer for "perfidious Jews," which Pope John XXIII excised in 1959.
The 1962 prayer is offered "for the blindness of that people so that they may acknowledge the light of your truth, which is Christ, and be delivered from their darkness."
Last week the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations sent an urgent letter to the Vatican, asking for assurance that the 1962 Good Friday liturgy was banned.
Rabbi Alvin Berkun, of Pittsburgh, is president of the international organization for Conservative rabbis and a participant in dialogues with the Vatican. Although he wants the Good Friday prayer removed, he discounted the fears of some rabbis that wider approval of the old Mass means a return to an old theology that cast Jews as "Christ-killers."
"As a rabbi, I wouldn't want the church telling me how much Hebrew I can put in my service. I don't think rabbis should be telling them how much Latin to use. I don't read into it any negative or nefarious suppositions," he said.
The Rev. Jerome Vereb, a Pittsburgher who once worked in the Vatican office that oversees relations with other Christians and Jews, said that those who attend diocesan-sponsored Latin Masses don't share the anti-ecumenical, anti-Jewish views of some schismatic groups.
He has occasionally attended a Latin Mass in New York City.
"The church is full of young people and people from other countries," he said.
"You see everyone from the Japanese ambassador to the United Nations to a Haitian lady who works as a nanny going to the Latin Mass. They go because there is still a universal quality and a sense of history to it."
Father Talarico first attended Latin Mass at 13. He had already sensed a call to priesthood.
The Latin Mass "was mysterious, but very attractive," he said. "There was a real sense of reverence. I wanted to learn more, and became an altar boy."
Yesterday he celebrated low Mass -- without chant, or the Bible readings and sermon that would otherwise be in English. Vested in a lace alb and ornate chasuble, he prayed facing the same direction as the people, so they saw only his back.
The 50 worshipers could follow in a Latin-English missal, which explained every gesture. But they never spoke. Only the altar boys -- they have no altar girls -- answered in Latin.Jim Cardelini, 41, of Munhall, has attended for about five years.
"At first we came because of an invitation. But then we started to come more. My wife and I were attracted by the reverence," he said.
"In the silence and the meditation, there is a mystical experience."
Lack of speech doesn't mean lack of participation, Father Talarico said.
"Participation is interior. It comes from the heart," he said. "People love that beauty. They can pray very simply to God."
In a letter accompanying his decree, the pope sought to allay the fears of some bishops that the Mass would be divisive. He expected it to have limited appeal.
"The use of the old missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often," he wrote.
But, he wrote, some people were deeply hurt by the sudden revolution in their worship. He didn't name the followers of the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, who rejected Vatican II. But, as the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he had attempted to reconcile the Lefebvrists. The new decree is not expected to heal the schism. Lefebvrist leaders have said they cannot accept current church teaching on many issues.
Nevertheless, the pope was thinking of reconciliation.
"Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church's leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity," he wrote.
Father Talarico joined the Institute of Christ the King because it is not divisive, he said. Its priests serve at the request of bishops, who often lack priests able to offer the Latin Mass.
"Our mission is to teach the truth of the Catholic Church, but to teach it with charity. We want to show that the faith is attractive for people today, that it has answers for all of the problems of today's world. But ultimately, it is about love," he said.
"We are not about going back to something, we are looking ahead to the future. The Mass is timeless. The church is always young.


Anonymous said...

Yet more errors in the interpretation of the MP. The Pope has NOT banned the use of the 1962 missal for any of the Holy Week services (including the Sacred Tridium).

Canon Law already prohibits PRIVATE celebration in the Tridium and the MP only reinforces this ban. The relevant clause is part of Article 1 which refers exclusively to PRIVATE Masses.

Where a Parish wishes to celebrate Holy Week in accordance with the 1962 Missal that is absolutely permitted.

As far as the parish's dilema in currently having two Sunday traditional Masses, that is easily solved by moving one to a nearby parish!

Fr Michael Brown said...

Vernon, of course you are right. I`d missed that bit. I thought the rest of it had a lot that was positive.

Anonymous said...

After 40 years of ecumenism, apologizing, pretending Jews still have a valid covenant, JP II not to mention Pius XII saving more of them than any other person during the 1940s - you would have though they would have the courtesey to keep thoses noses out of internal Catholic affairs.

The cheeck of the ADL and other anti-Christian Jews is astounding.