Monday, November 28, 2011

Good question, I guess ...

... The Millions : Where Have All the Catholic Writers Gone? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Well, there's Piers Paul Read and Torgny Lindgren. And Michael D. O'Brien.

I thought this remark, from the comments, interesting: "But seriously, a widespread reinstating of the Tridentine Mass is just going to bleed Catholic membership in most Western countries. It does seem alienating ..." Alienating? To whom? To the millions who buy CDs of Gregorian Chant or who go to see a film like Into Great Silence? Given the response I have been getting to my article yesterday, it looks to me as if a lot of people find it anything but alienating. Moreover, even if it did "bleed Catholic membership," that might not be so bad a thing. Numbers are less important than fervor.


  1. "Where have all the Catholic writers gone?"

    That's easy: they're blogging, even though the medium is no longer considered cool, and they're writing about everything from poetry to politics to fantasy novels.

  2. Dear Frank,

    There couldn't be much that is more alienating than the tone-deaf translations of both scripture and the liturgy. Replacing perfectly good language with technical philosophical niceties isn't really much to inspire the soul. I'd rather sit through something that I haven't a clue about than puzzle over what service the Bishops thought they were doing the Church or the populace.

    The Tridentine mass in itself is wonderful, what can be alienating is SOME (not by any means all) of its adherents. It was as I first felt about Therese of Lisieux--wimpy and whiny--what I discovered was that it wasn't the Little Flower that was so bad--rather her admirers.

    The New Mass has me heading for the local Maronite Rite which does the entire service in Aramaic.



  3. Anonymous11:52 AM

    I'm a 52 year old Catholic, old enough to recall the early (much more faithful to the original Latin) Masses of the early 70's, but too young to really remember the Tridentine Mass. Man in the middle, I suppose. What I have witnessed over the last 40 years has been a progressive eating away at the sanctity of the liturgy on the parish level, everywhere. I stopped going to Mass regularly years ago, but still visit the old churches (built pre-VII) when no Mass is being said, to enjoy the silence, light candles and make my devotions before the statues of the saints, and to kneel at the altar rail and say the Anima Christi before the Blessed Sacrament. Sometimes--rarely--I return for Mass on some feast day of importance to my private devotion, and often I'm overcome with emotion, despite the utter banality of the liturgy and homilies. The old emotional pull is still there, ready to be resurrected in my heart, but the Novo Ordo Mass is an insurmountable obstacle. It is a pale, pedestrian, bloodless thing. The recent reversions in translation that have Vatican II types incensed are laughable--too little and much, much too late. Recently, I attended a concelebrated Tridentine Mass in honor of the victims of 9/11. But, without priests who really understand the old rubrics, and parishioners who have been taught what is happening at the altar and how to follow along in a Latin missal, this once beautiful liturgy is a mess of missteps, mistakes and stumbling hesitations. I'm resigned to the sad fact that the faith that existed before the council has been extinguished and there is no resurrecting it. The Church I was born into is dead, and the many churches I still visit are sepulchers, tombs, ruins.

    Maybe there are no more Catholic writers because that is just too sad a reality to contemplate for very long.