Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Latin Mass Soon to Be Back in Catholic Church

On Wednesday, May 30, John L. Allen, Jr. reported in his New York Times Op/Ed piece (“The Pope’s Language Lesson”) that Pope Benedict XVI will soon give permission for celebration of the Latin Mass and that the Pope’s decision “will be hyped beyond all recognition”. Allen should have added, “and I will be first in line with the hype”. John Allen is the Vatican analyst for CNN and NPR. His column “The Word from Rome” can be found in print and online in the National Catholic Reporter. He also is an apologist for the Roman Catholic Church’s notorious “prelature of the Holy Cross”, Opus Dei. Allen says Vatican authorities contend that the Pope’s intent is to make the pre-1960’s Mass optional. Allen says this in no way “symbolizes a broad conservative drift in Catholic affairs” which will be read as “another sign of a ‘rollback’ on Vatican II.” Allen even goes so far as to say, “evidence of a systematic lurch to the right is hard to come by”. But that is exactly what reinstituting the Latin Mass symbolizes. The Pope has not drifted or lurched to the right. He is marching the Roman Catholic Church steadfastly and determinedly back to the positions he took when he was John Paul II’s “secretary of state”. At that time, he was Cardinal Ratzinger and he was called The Enforcer, The Fundamentalist, The Panzerkardinal. Then, he said homosexuality is “an intrinsic moral evil.” Now he has ordered the church to root out all suspected homosexual priests. This small move to reinstate the Latin Mass is just one more sign of the conservatism of the current Pope and that he intends to roll back everything Vatican II stood for.Allen says that since Pope Benedict outlawed Limbo, prayed in the Blue Mosque in Turkey, and denounced the war in Iraq, it means the Pope’s agenda is not to bring the Roman Catholic Church back to far-right conservative values. A puny list if ever there was one, and not persuasive. The Roman Catholic Church never believed in Limbo. Limbo was a construct of Saint Augustine of Hippo and was never considered divine revelation. Benedict made such a gaffe about Islam when he quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor saying “Muhammad brought the world evil and inhuman things”, that he’s been trying to pull his Prada shoes out of that cowpie ever since. Praying in a Mosque in Turkey was the least he could do. And denouncing the war in Iraq? Please! Allen ends his piece by saying “If only we could convince the activists to slug it out in Latin, leaving the rest of us blissfully oblivious, then we might have something.” I can only note that Pope Benedict’s ruling on the Latin Mass speaks for itself. Or, as Pope John XXIII might have said: “Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?” The thing speaks for itself, but what in hell does it say?

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