Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What passes for journalism these days...

It's a shame what passes for serious reporting from major newspapers these days. All the reporters do is read blogs, I guess. For the last week or so, there's been buzz around the liberation of the old Mass. When the newspapers finally catch on to the rumors, they seem to do little more than read the blog buzz.

For example:

Pope Set to Bring Back Latin Mass that Divided the Church, from the Times of London. My friend, Orville told me to ignore the "divisive" headline. Of course I will. The Times is right. It was the old Mass that divided the Church, not the newfangled one, nor the modernists who sought to wipe out the old Mass. The Times tells us "An indult permitting the celebration of the Tridentine Mass could help to bring remaining Lefebvrists and many other traditional Catholics back to the fold." I just love the word "Lefebvrists," don't you? The Times uses it indiscriminately to refer to everyone who has a beef with Bugnini, apparently--even the priests of Campos who were never part of the SSPX. What's wrong with calling them "traditionalists"? Did they call Catholic Answers to get the "correct" terminology? Is the Times a neo-Catholic organ, too?

Pope Set to Ease Latin Mass Restrictions, from the Washington Post. We learn here that the leader of the Society of St. Pius X (you know, the "Lefebvrists") is headed by a "Bishop Bernard." Would that be Bishop Fellay? Here also, the Post trots out one of their own favorite adjectives from the stylebook, "ultraconservative.". What the hell is an "ultraconservative", anyways? I've run into all kinds of folks: counterrevolutionaries, reactionaries, paleo-conservatives,"crunchy-cons," neo-conservatives (unfortunately), "moderates," "liberals," "progressives," Maoists, Marxists, anarchists, and fascists. I've met orthodox, dissenters, heretics, infidels, and apostates. But I've never yet met an "ultraconservative," either in political or religious circles.

Anyways, I hope that the blog buzz that these people have turned into newspaper articles comes to fruition, and that whatever the Pope has supposedly signed is actually released, and that it is a meaningful step forward (i.e., that it doesn't give recalcitrant bishops any discretion to prohibit the public celebration of the old Mass).

But I certainly have my doubts.


cranky said...

So, I'm left with questions. Do you see the possible indult as overall positive?
I know it's not perfect, but doesn't this go a long way toward building a bridge?

Second, what exactly is the issue with Catholic Answers? Is it that they are Novus Ordo? Are they against Trads? Though it's probably minimally important, I don't understand what the pique is about.

Dr. Bombay said...

I can't speak for Mudge, but as for my opinion....

The good folks at Catholic Answers (and other neo orgs) believe that they, and they alone, are the sole arbiters of what constitutes orthodoxy in the Church today. As if the Deposit of Faith resides in San Diego.

As such, they feel it their duty to anathematize anyone who doesn't believe we're in a new springtime, who doesn't believe the novus ordo is grand, who doesn't believe the sole problem with VatII is it hasn't been "implemented" properly, who doesn't scandalously worship the pope's person.

As for the rumored indult....meh....I'll beleive it when I see it. But if His Holiness is going to allow bishops to continue to prohibit the Old Roman Rite within their diocese, I don't see that it gets us any further than we are now. In fact, if this remains in the hands of the locals, it would make such an indult worse than useless.

Of course, there's the problem of some dopey liberal priest somewhere saying the Old Mass with girl altar boys, and women prancing around the sanctuary handing out Communion...just because they know it would scandalize people. Libs are basically evil and their capacity to shock should never be underestimated.

cranky said...

I understand now. That makes sense to me. Cath Answers does seem to err that direction at times. I just never thought about it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the good doctor for so cogently answering crank re: our friends at Catholic Answers. I'm where I can't give a detailed answer.

As for my overall view of a "universal indult," I'm waiting to see what it says. If it truly gets us out from under the modernists thumb (I.e. public celebrations with minimal restrictions and a mechanism to protect diocesan priests who are traditionally inclined) of course I'd be thrilled. If it is granted in such a way that doesn't solve the practical problems, its worse than nothing. Like every sensible traddie (regular and irregular) , I'm praying for the best and bracing for much less.