Motu coverage continues.

Today's New York Times contains an Editorial Observer piece on the return of the old Mass. Writer Lawrence Downes recounts his experience at a Tridentine "low" Mass at a Chicago church:

I went up the steps of the Renaissance-baroque church, through astone doorway and back into my dimmest memories. Amid the grandeur ofbeeswax candles and golden statuary, the congregation was saying therosary. I sat behind an older couple wearing scapulars as big as creditcards. I saw women with lace mantillas and a clutch of seminarians inthe front rows, in black cassocks and crisp white surplices.

Thesanctuary, behind a long communion rail, looked oddly barren because itlacked the modern altar on which a priest, facing the people, preparesthe Eucharistic meal. The priest entered, led by altar boys. He wore agreen and gold chasuble and a biretta, a black tufted hat, that heplaced on a side table. His shaved head and stately movements gave theMass a military bearing.

I couldnt hear a thing.

I strained to listen, waited and, finally, in my dimness, realized that there was nothing to hear.

Diogenes is predictably upset. That post is a choice example of what's wrong with anonymous writers who regularly spew vitriol. Note especially Uncle Di's dubious, undemonstrated claim that "all the enthusiasm--in the sense of positive relish for one form of liturgy--belongs to the Latin camp." He goes on: "A true partisan of the post-Conciliar vernacular liturgy, on the otherhand, pays his respects by blowing it off (ever hear a liberal Catholiccall ahead for Mass times when traveling to unfamiliar territory?)." Apparently the poor writer (or is it writers?) behind the cryptonym doesn't get out much.

More delightfully, ur-Diogenes takes a shot at both NCR and Rembert Weakland: "The NCRwas knocked so far off-balance by the challenge as to invoke RembertWeakland in defense of its position, which is something like callingPaul Shanley as a character witness." I suppose comparing Weakland to Hitler would have been too passe for a man of Diogenes' rhetorical gifts.

For a different take on the matter, be sure to check out our preview of the August issue: Rita Ferrone's analysis of the motu proprio and what it means for the church.

Grant Gallicho joined Commonweal as an intern and was an associate editor for the magazine until 2015. 

Please email comments to [email protected] and join the conversation on our Facebook page.

Must Reads