Skip to content

Full participation before all else

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

"It's a day of mourning, not just for me but for the many people who worked for the Second Vatican Council. A reform for which many people worked, with great sacrifice and only inspired by the desire to renew the church, has now been canceled."

On the other hand, many traditionalists see this document as the culmination of a 40-year struggle to preserve an ancient tradition unjustly abandoned.

Our Vatican correspondent John Allen thinks the avalanche of commentary the Latin Mass issue has generated comes from small minorities with vested interests.

To those who would see this as another sign of a rollback on Vatican II, Allen suggests that if they look at Benedict's full record as pope, they will find little to support the lurch to the right they feared at his election two years ago.

Furthermore, Allen finds scant evidence of a pent-up demand for the old Mass. Individual bishops have been granting permission for use of the 1962 Missal since 1984, and according to Allen, dioceses where it has been allowed report that the celebrations are often well attended, sometimes with a surprising number of younger Catholics, but there has been no widespread exodus from the new rite to the old.

"In the end," Allen says, "the normal Sunday experience for the vast majority of Catholics will continue to be the new Mass celebrated in the vernacular."

Allen's argument, which echoes the opinions of quite a few bishops in the United States and Europe, is persuasive - for now.

This does not mean that we do not have concerns.

"Summorum Pontificum" may well ease reconciliation with traditionalists and conservative groups, but what about others - especially Catholic women - who have felt deeply pained by the church? What outreach can they expect?

We join with Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center and call on the pope to publicly repudiate language in the rite that calls for the conversion of the Jews and for God to lift the "veil from their hearts."

We know that priests are already strapped for time and energy. That was confirmed by the Synod of the Eucharist convened in Rome last October. We are concerned that priests will be further burdened not just because they have to offer additional services, but because nearly all will need training in the old rites.

But we also have deeper concerns, as we find persuasive the argument that this is a small change that presages more substantive changes.

From the opening words of their first document, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the bishops at the Second Vatican Council proclaimed that the key to reforming the church was reform of the liturgy. And the goal of liturgical reform is enshrined in the core statement of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, paragraph 14:

"Mother church earnestly desires that all the faithful be led to that full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations called for by the very nature of the liturgy. ... This full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else. For it is the primary and indispensable source from which the faithful are to derive the true Christian spirit."

We fear that re-embracing the Latin Mass could undermine the liturgical reforms that undergird the spiritual and theological developments of the Second Vatican Council. Changes that will set off our alarms include:

- Reconfiguring seminary curricula to focus time, resources and talent on training priests to offer Mass and other sacraments in Latin and away from training that would support celebrating the sacraments in the vernacular.

- Cutting back on seminary training on pastoral duties, such as counseling and chaplaincies.

To all our readers,

Please don't scroll past this. We interrupt your reading to humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online School's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they look the other way. If you are an exceptional reader who has already donated, we sincerely thank you. If you donate just $10.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online School could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online School is useful. If Catholic Online School has given you $10.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the world that access to Catholic education matters to you. Thank you.

Help Now >

- Restricting church design and architecture in favor of old forms not conducive to the guidelines in liturgical documents written in the last 20 years.

- Discouraging efforts to use contemporary music and other artistic expressions in liturgy.

- Increasing restrictions on liturgical ministries open to all laypeople, men and women.

Rembert Weakland, then archbishop of Milwaukee, wrote what must now be seen as a prophetic article in America magazine in 1999 that warned of a creeping rubricism and movement to reinterpret Vatican II to assure validity and orthodoxy. Like Weakland, we have to ask: "Can the two, the reform of the liturgy and the reform of the church, be separated?"


National Catholic Reporter ,
- ,



Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,717

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Children learning @ Catholic Online School

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Keep Catholic Online School alive

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Light your Free Virtual Prayer Candle

FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!