Responses Regarding the Traditional Latin Mass and the Disney Debacle
I take strong exception to the “3 Reasons Why Young People Gravitate to the Traditional Latin Mass” article by Virginia Aabram (Culture of Life, Sept. 12 issue). Aabram’s report slams the contemporary Mass. Aabram says that “80%” of the contemporary Masses are not “beautiful” enough to suit her and that she feels that she has to search for weeks on end to find a Novus Ordo Mass that appeals to her.
I submit to Miss Aabram, whether she will admit it or not, this is simply another example of a Catholic who feels that the Mass should be “entertainment,” rather than the serious encounter with the triune Godhead and particularly Jesus in the Eucharist that the Mass is intended to be. As for me, in order to find a contemporary Mass that is solemn and deeply reverent, wherever I have lived in this country, from New Jersey to California and several places in between, I have never had to go any farther than my nearest local Catholic parish church. The people who have left the Church since the 1960s did not do so because they missed the Latin Mass. They did so because they misguidedly rejected the Church’s teachings on abortion, artificial contraception, divorce-and-remarriage, same-sex “marriage,” women priests — whatever. I strongly support the Church’s teachings on these issues and I worry (and perhaps Pope Francis does, too) that if the Church emphasizes a type of “timeless” Mass, which goes back to the Middle Ages, then perhaps society at large will simply regard the Church’s teachings on abortion, artificial contraception, same-sex “marriage,” etc., as also being mere further examples of “outdated” relics of medieval Catholic thinking and therefore hardly worthy of anyone’s consideration in the 21st century. I wish the Register would show more support for the contemporary Mass and the Catholics like me who love it.
Paul F. Murray
Rock Springs, Wyoming
The editor responds: Thank you for your note, Mr. Murray, and for your love of the Mass. Virginia Aabram, in her column, writes, “the Novus Ordo is and always will be my first liturgical language.” She writes that she thinks “the liturgy should be conducted in a manner fitting to the sacrifice that takes place on the altar,” and she doesn’t say that it is embodied in any particular form of the Mass. The Register is similarly committed to helping to foster a greater reverence of the Mass, in whatever form it takes, whether Maronite or Melkite, Tridentine or Novus Ordo, Byzantine or Ambrosian.
Coverage by the Register, in both news and opinion pieces, of Disney’s debacle over its “wokeness” has been good (including flagging the radical-woke left’s mischaracterization, via an inane catchphrase, of Florida’s parental-rights bill). But, I believe, the paper too often falls into a secular trap in reciting a mainstream narrative through repeated use of “progressive” in reference to woke doctrines. Granted, “progressive” might suggest, to some, simply “reformist” (though most often positive); and attempting to change widespread, currently accepted usage requires patience (with no guarantee of success). But we should put an end to identifying woke ideologues by the misleading (and delusion-affirming) stamp that wrongly implies “progress.”
Instead, let’s use a more precise term (especially in terms of outcomes): divisive. Or, alternatively: atheistic — because words matter.
Rochester, New York
- letters to the editor