This is a blog written by the man in the street for the man in the street; we are not presenting authoritative or ‘academic papers’ but sharing our thoughts and views, faithful to the Magisterium of today and yesterday (we hope!) Comments made and Posts to which we link are not necessarily supported by the authors of this blog, nor are the posts of either blogger the responsibility or views of the other!
has already made an erudite reply to Dr Tracey Rowland’s remarks in her CNS interview. While this blog is only a minor player in the league of blogs, I do
hope that if Dr Rowland is aware of the criticism she is receiving and decides to
google it, that she comes across this short response.
Dear Dr Rowland,
am sorry if your experience of attending the Extraordinary Form (EF) is as poor
as you seem to suggest. I started celebrating the EF before the days of
Summorum Pontificum, and while I found long-time adherents to the EF rather
unwelcoming and perhaps suspicious of newcomers, I recognised this as
understandable since they had been boxed into a defensive corner by thirty five
years of struggle and derision. In that hostility towards the EF is still
present among many in the Church (who seem to think that what was good enough for
the saints of millennia is beneath them) those who prefer the EF are not likely
to overcome their fears and defensiveness easily, and your interview does not help
you seem in this interview to be very one-sided and rather unaware of the wider
picture. You say that in your experience people attending the EF dissect the
celebration, yet you fail to mention a widespread attitude among those who
attend the Ordinary Form of “I prefer Fr X’s Mass to Fr Y’s Mass” and the even
more common “I didn’t like those hymns today”. In my experience of celebrations
of the Extraordinary Form the content of the homily is much more likely to be
commented upon; rarely the mistakes Father makes with the rubrics. I grant that
the singing may sometimes be subject to criticism, but that criticism too is
not restricted to celebrations of the Extraordinary Form.
comments about being “dressed in funny clothes” or “belonging to a different era
in history” seem remarkably condescending and indeed, rather off-key. It is my
experience –even when celebrating the EF before Summorum Pontificum when only
the brave and dedicated dared to attend- that the dress of those present was
simply formal, not that of another era. It might have been good for you to note
how those who attend the Ordinary Form dress immodestly; females in skirts that
barely cover the buttocks and males in T-shirts with dubious messages and
while we do indeed need to correct the idea that attending the EF is a
statement against the Second Vatican Council, it might have been good for you
to note how among a number of those who attend only the Ordinary Form there is often a rejection
of the Church’s Tradition as expressed in the EF, and a displeasure with the
Council of Trent and the First Vatican Council.
conclusion, I am sorry to say I do not feel this interview presents you
in a good light, and hope this is due to editing. I feel you come across as someone who is either very unaware
of the wider picture or as one-sidedly critical. Further, I feel you are not so
much “friendly towards" the EF as “not antagonistic” towards it. Sadly, friends
of mine -who simply dress modestly and are actively engaged with and understanding
of the liturgy, do not seem to be given due respect in your comments.