7/02/2007

Return of Tridentine Mass

I see that plans by the Pope to allow the widespread return of the Tridentine Mass has sent a few clergy in England into a tizzy.



There has been some concerns, albeit irrational and incorrect ones, that the mass is anti-semitic as it contains a prayer which prays for Jews that they may discover the glory of Jesus.

I fail to see anything anti-semitic about this. Catholics believe that the only way to achieve salvation is through Jesus Christ. That being said as Pope John Paul II said, "all religions have a path to god".

This nonsense about anti-semitism in the Tridentine mass represents the same intolerance to challenges of faith which many people accuse Muslims of. Every religion should be open to criticism, even my own.

Yet as soon as anyone dare criticise anything to do with the Jewish faith we hear screams of anti-semitism, it really is pathetic!

In relation to the return of the Latin mass I think it is to be welcomed.

Through studying law I have been introduced to a lot of Latin as many legal expressions and conventions are still in Latin. I find it a beautiful language that would be a shame to see lost to the transcripts of history.

This new plan will not make Latin compulsory, it will simply allow more members of the clergy to perform the mass in the traditional way. I personally find the Latin mass a more solemn affair than any other mass I have ever attended, be it in English, Irish or French.

I agree with many that this move by the Pontiff is likely to be the arm of friendship towards the ultra-traditionalist and schismatic group, the Society of St Pius X, in order to bring it back into the Vatican fold.

The Society was formed by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1969 after he and other members of the clergy clashed with Rome about the reforms brought in by the Second Vatican Council.

The Rev Keith Pecklers, a Jesuit liturgical expert, said: "The real issue here is not limited to liturgy but has wider implications for church life." He added that proponents of the old Mass "tend to oppose the laity's increased role in parish life... collaboration with other Christians and its dialogue with Jews and Muslims".

I have to agree with Rev Pecklers on one issue, the intolerance of many followers of the Society of Saint Pius X. My ex's father would attend mass provided by the Society and he was an ultra-conservative wacko.

The first question he asked me when he learnt I was dating his daughter was did I attend mass. He then informed me that I wasn't a real Catholic as I was baptised and confirmed in the new mass. He said I was basically a Protestant who would have no chance of entering heaven.

Sufficed to say we did not see eye to eye and clashed on more than one occasion.

I will not support any moves to remove the positive elements of the Second Vatican Council, like the increased role of the laity. I don't support priests running the place as if they were kings.

Too many priests do not see themselves as servants, they think they have the right to impose their will, or should that be the Bishops will, on the parish without any concern for the views of the inhabitants of the parish.

The Church needs a big injection of democracy, not in relation to the Catholic faith but in the way in which the church conducts the work on the ground.

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