13 June 2021

So beautiful ... why do they hate it so much?

Perhaps a couple of years ago, I had the privilege to be in the company of a great prelate just after he had offered a pontifical High Mass in the old rite.

Suddenly, quite out of the blue, he murmurred: "So beautiful, so beautiful. Why do they hate it so much?" 

Afterwards, I started to recall the events which followed our entry into Full Communion with the See of S Peter, when a determined effort was made to prevent my admission to the presbyterate of the Latin Church. During those long, difficult, and extraordinarily painful months, I had the advice and support of some very good and holy men. I shall eternally be grateful to them. I remember all of the things that were said to me.

One of them said, and repeated it a number of of times, "John, you simply must realise how strongly these people feel about the 'Extraordinary Form'".

Another said he would explain to me why there was such prejudice against the old Mass. "It's because they associate it with a form of Catholicism which they think of as rigid, sin-obsessed, oppressive, and, frankly, frightening. They are afraid that, with the old Mass, the entire moral and cultural complex which they think they remember will return. And the thought terrifies them."

Happily, there is, I sense, rather less such liturgical terror now among Catholic Bishops, at least, here in England. Some of them make careful and generous provision for the Authentic Form of the Roman Rite. 

Although ... I do hope that they are not thereby trying to control or limit its effect upon ordinary parish life. We need priests in parochial ministry who share the mind and methods of the great Fr Tim, once, so gloriously, of Blackfen. God forbid that the old Mass should be, or even appear to be, a precious ghetto for precious and exclusive clergy and laity anxious to hide away from their fellow Catholics. 

What is necessary is 'dual economy' parishes ... such as those often provided by the Oratories. An easy and gracious and unneurotic symbiosis ...

Joseph Ratzinger said in the 1990s when some English Catholic bishops were violently resisting a 'Corporate Solution' for Anglican Catholics: "What are they so afraid of?"

So ... To answer the question in my heading ... Fear. They hate the Old Rite because the Enemy has set fear in their hearts. Fear is his weapon of choice.


11 comments:

Unknown said...

You can go further and say, they fear became hatred, hatred of that what is most holy. It is known as In Odium Fidei. When the Fidei stands for one and only true Faith.
Therefore the question should be formulated not as "why do they hate it so much?", but "who are they who do hate it so much?"

Ivan

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. It is interesting to recall that in a great book, "The Second Vatican Council (an unwritten story) Robert de Mattei, it is noted (page 184) that most of The Cardinals were tired of the Real Mass; In those days Bishop Borromeo of Pesaro pointed out "the soreness of almost all the foreign cardinals against the liturgy of the Roman rite and Its language, and the slackness of the Italians, who hardly react or at least have not yet begun too react.

The progressive politicians (Council Fathers intent on imposing their revolution) came prepared and they met each day in St. Martha's (Where the Bishop of Rome chose to live) to strategerize because they knew that the Real Mass conveyed to the pew denizens the real faith and the political fathers of the council wanted a new "expression" of or new "focus' of the faith which required a new rite to convey that idaology.

The faithful Italian Cardinals were slow to respond because they could not imagine why anyone would be sour on such a good, true, and beautiful rite.

O, and where is a single indication in the early 1960s that even one faithful Catholic wanted the Real Mass destroyed to be replaced with a Lil' Licit Liturgy?

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. It is interesting to recall that in a great book, "The Second Vatican Council (an unwritten story) Robert de Mattei, it is noted (page 184) that most of The Cardinals were tired of the Real Mass; In those days Bishop Borromeo of Pesaro pointed out "the soreness of almost all the foreign cardinals against the liturgy of the Roman rite and Its language, and the slackness of the Italians, who hardly react or at least have not yet begun too react.

The progressive politicians (Council Fathers intent on imposing their revolution) came prepared and they met each day in St. Martha's (Where the Bishop of Rome chose to live) to strategerize because they knew that the Real Mass conveyed to the pew denizens the real faith and the political fathers of the council wanted a new "expression" of or new "focus' of the faith which required a new rite to convey that idaology.

The faithful Italian Cardinals were slow to respond because they could not imagine why anyone would be sour on such a good, true, and beautiful rite.

O, and where is a single indication in the early 1960s that even one faithful Catholic wanted the Real Mass destroyed to be replaced with a Lil' Licit Liturgy?

E sapelion said...

Joseph Ratzinger very nearly had his habilitation failed in 1957 because he was regarded as a dangerous radical. The next year he wrote this article - https://www.hprweb.com/2017/01/the-new-pagans-and-the-church/
That is the church some fear returning. Outwardly conforming, using the 'right' words and gestures, but with no conversion of heart. It bred the Magdalen Laundries, the Canadian Indian residential school system, and a multitude of similar perversions.

Atticus said...

Initium odii timor pulchritudinis.

coradcorloquitur said...

As love of truth and justice has consistently graced this blog, perhaps it should be noted that if faithful Catholics at times wish to seek refuge from their fellow parishioners in parishes of "dual economy," it might be for one of these real and documentable reasons: 1) they wish to keep the Faith rejected by Modernists; 2) they have been psychologically abused and maligned by those who should be their brethren and their fathers; 3) they wish to worship in peace and without the acrid looks, unkind words, and often-false accusations from both clergy and laity who hate (and fear) the Faith of the Ages and of their own ancestors. Should the glorious English recusants have had a kumbaya moment with their tormentors at the time of the Reformation? Imprecise though this analogy is, it is instructive: the recusants did not and were right not to. It is not always---or usually---a question of preciosity or being "superior" (although no doubt there are such cases) but of survival in a sea of heterodoxy and acrimony. Perhaps it is time to recognize courageously that, in the ominous and gloating words of Cardinal Leo Suenens of Malines, there has been a "French Revolution" in the Church and that co-existence with ecclesiastical Jacobins is not feasible or advisable---time to remember, without self-righteousness, who ignited the destructive fires and to what end. One is reminded in this case of the radical, instructive words of Holy Writ: "What hath light to do with darkness?".

Stephen said...

There must have something twisted in the formation of all those bishops who hated the ancient Latin rite, as we're talking 99% of what, some 2000 bishops, who embraced at worst, or enabled at best, the clown Mass nonsense. After all, these guys represented the very apex of an incredibly well-organized, global formation process that achieved uniformity in training, language and commonality worldwide on a scale never before achieved. And out of this top-shelf group, less than a baker's dozen actually put up any fight through the sixties and seventies. What was wrong with their formation?

OR, as a group, in the aftermath of the slaughter of WWII and touched by the giddy hubris of the secular world in Europe and America, they came to the conclusion, in spite of their formation, that to be accepted by those in power (who had nothing but disdain for the Church), or to have some ability to influence them, they had to dispense with the only thing that, paradoxically, could actually give them the respect they seemed to so desperately crave.

Or a mix of both. But it didn't happen out of the blue. That hatred was already there, germinating (Germanating?) well before John XXIII. Pity we've not read much about all that.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Magister Johannes,

Let us assume that your interlocutors, concerning a frightening form of catholicism, are correct.

Let us, contrary to fact, assume, for the sake of argument, that they are correct.

These idiots don't realise, that for the majority of the Latin Church's history, this mass was said by marrried priests.

This fact upsets their meta-narrative.

AvB.

Greyman 82 said...

Thank for this posting Fr. Hunwicke.

Now I understand the hostility of the "old guard" clergy who fear "turning back the clock" as they put it. It's all about fear. How can they be reassured that the reinstatement of reverent, traditional liturgy does not have to entail a return the bad old days of authoritarianism and rigidity? I've no answer to that, but it has to involve kindness, courtesy and respect.

davidmorourke said...

Father you said, "O, and where is a single indication in the early 1960s that even one faithful Catholic wanted the Real Mass destroyed to be replaced with a Lil' Licit Liturgy?"

Well Father, here I am. The faithful Catholic who wanted change. I was in my late teens in those days. I assisted at Mass every day (I used the St. Andrew"s Daily Missal which was a classic in those days and still is. Our pastor was an auxiliary bishop ( I was present at his consecration) and we vested him at the altar even on weekdays. I quickly became acquainted with buskins and sandals and other pontificalia. On one occasion with less than five minutes notice I served as First MC for Pontifical Mass at the faldstool and it was the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Maundy Thursday Evening. I could go on but I think you get the picture.

So what happened? When the !955 Holy Week changes came along I read all about them in Time Magazine. The article ended by saying that next on the agenda would be changing the Mass itself. I had never heard of such a thing. There I was, a bewildered 12 year old ritual freak. Over the following years I read everything that "The LiturgicaL Press" printed. Every year at Christmas I received a subscription to "Worship Magazine. The curate in our parish, who was in charge of the servers (and who was excellent in ceremonial)shared my interest and I learned a lot from him.


So what happened? The changes as they came along were the product of "liturgical experts" whose views were very different from mine. When they wanted to make changes which were not even authorised by Vat, II They said the changes were "in the spirit of Vat II". Everything was lost." The music became rotten and some very fine vestments were replaced by "horse blankets". Even the buskins and sandals, the use of which was gifted to Pope St. Sylvester by the Emperor Constantine
were gone. It was useless to complain. you were just accused of being hung up on externals and oftem by the very priest who destroyed the externals.

So what more is there to say?

Fr John Hunwicke said...

I am pretty sure I have never said ... or written ... that.