Sunday, January 6, 2008

Columbia Magazine and the Tridentine Mass

Like most other members of the Knights of Columbus, I got my copy of Columbia magazine late last week. There was an article in this issue about Summorum Pontificum and the Traditional Latin Mass called "What's Old Is New Again", written by former Our Sunday Visitor editor Gerald Korson. It was actually a good article, even referencing Sts. Philomenia and Cecilia Catholic Church in Oak Forest, IN (for which, unfortunately, I don't have a working link), which offers only the Tridentine Mass and is served by the FSSP, going over the recent history with the initial indult granted by Pope John Paul II in 1984 and his call for a greater use of the 1962 Roman Missal in 1988's Ecclesia Dei, and various other smaller items in the article that were either informative or in favor of the Tridentine Mass.

One part of the article that was problematic for me, though, was when they interviewed Msgr. M. Francis Mannon, a founding director of the Liturgical Institute in Chicago. He said training for the extraordinary rite would be difficult to institute in many seminaries.

"Liturgical formation in seminaries already consumes a good deal of time. How can an additional curriculum be incorporated?" He then goes on to say "(Formation programs) will have to ensure that the current liturgy is not in any way compromised."

While I can understand where Msgr. Mannon is coming from, I think the problem that we have today in this regard is the disappearance of Latin from the curriculum in many seminaries across the country. While being fluent in Latin would be ideal, at the very least Church Latin needs to be taught. And that's regardless whether or not programs for learning the extraordinary form would be implemented in a seminary. We, as Latin Rite Catholics, need to get back to Latin. It's still the official language of the Church and according to Sacrosanctum Consilium 36 (The Second Vatican Council's Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), is still the primary language of the Latin Rite liturgy, and so much gets lost in the translation between the Magisterium and the people here in the United States. The ICEL has not given a good translation of even the Novus Ordo. When Latin is once again taught in seminaries in the United States, it'll be easier for a priest to learn the Tridentine Mass, and likely help the Novus Ordo with a more faithful understanding of the liturgy, which would improve translation to any other language as well.

Regardless, Latin must return to the seminaries, if not for the Old Mass, for the good of the whole Church.

More later...

Chuck, MI

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