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.